Real-Time Crystal Growth Monitoring of Boric Acid from Sodium or Lithium Sulfate Containing Aqueous Solutions by Atomic Force Microscopy

Alavia, Wilson; Seidel-Morgenstern A.; Hermsdorf, Dana; Lorenz, Heike; Graber, Teofilo A.


The crystal growth of boric acid from an aqueous solution in the absence and presence of sodium and lithium sulfate was studied by real-time monitoring. For this purpose, atomic force microscopy in situ has been used. The results show that the growth mechanism of boric acid from its pure and impure solutions is spiral growth driven by screw dislocation and that the velocity of advancement of steps on the crystal surface, and the relative growth rate (ratio of the growth rate in presence and absence of a salt) is reduced in the presence of salts. The reduction of the relative growth rate could be explained by the inhibition of advancement of steps of the (001) face mainly in the growth direction [100] caused by the adsorption of salts on the actives sites and the inhibition of the formation of sources of steps such as dislocations. The adsorption of the salts on the crystal surface is anisotropic and independent of the supersaturation and preferentially on the active sites of the (100) edge. Moreover, this information is of significance for the improvement of the quality of boric acid recovered from brines and minerals and the synthesis of nanostructures and microstructures of boron-based materials.

Más información

Título de la Revista: ACS Omega
Editorial: American Chemical Society
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Idioma: English
Notas: WOS Core collection SCOPUS