Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

The Atomistic Structure of Amorphous Carbonate, Phosphate and Sulfate Biominerals

Cobourne, Glyn David (2017) The Atomistic Structure of Amorphous Carbonate, Phosphate and Sulfate Biominerals. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:75161)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 April 2025.
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of 308PhD Thesis _ Glyn Cobourne 2019.pdf]


Biominerals are key to all life, whether they make up exoskeletons of marine organisms (amorphous calcium carbonate), human bones (amorphous calcium phosphate) or being signs of extra-terrestrial life (amorphous iron sulfate) but little is know of their atomistic structures. How they behave could be determined by this structure and knowledge of this could lead to favouring certain crystallisation pathways or indeed speeding up the process, ie. If someone breaks their arm, can we induce faster healing? In the present study, amorphous biominerals including carbonates, phosphates and sulfates are synthesised (stabilised where necessary). The proton content is reduced either via heat-treatment or deuteratation. The deuteration method is the first of its kind and enabled the materials of study to be

examined at central facilities via x-ray and neutron diffraction. For the first time, neutron diffraction experiments have been conducted on amorphous calcium and magnesium carbonates. Also, a first synthesis of deuterated amorphous biominerals including amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC), amorphous magnesium carbonate (AMC) and amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP). Diffraction data from these materials are utilised by the empirical potential structure refinement (EPSR) algorithm to generate atomistic models using Reverse Monte Carlo (RMC). These models used well defined molecular units and yielded results showing the calcium distribution throughout ACC to be uniformed, contrary to former reports on the atomistic structure of ACC.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Mountjoy, Gavin
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 08:54 UTC
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2022 08:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Cobourne, Glyn David.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.