Hydroxyl migration disorders the surface structure of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles

XJ Cheng and H Wu and L Zhang and XT Ma and XD Zhang and ML Yang, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 416, 901-910 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2017.04.250

The surface structure of nano-hydroxyapatite (HAP) was investigated using a combined simulated annealing and molecular dynamics method. The stationary structures of nano-HAP with 4-7 nm in diameter and annealed under different temperatures were analyzed in terms of pair distribution function, structural factor, mean square displacement and atomic coordination number. The particles possess different structures from bulk crystal. A clear radial change in their atomic arrangements was noted. From core to surface the structures change from ordered to disordered. A three-shell model was proposed to describe the structure evolution of nano-HAP. Atoms in the core zone keep their arrangements as in crystal, while atoms in the surface shell are in short-range order and long-range disorder, adopting a typically amorphous structure. Atoms in the middle shell have small displacements and/or deflections but basically retain their original locations as in crystal. The disordered shell is about 1 nm in thickness, in agreement with experimental observations. The disordering mainly stems from hydroxyl migration during which hydroxyls move to the surface and bond with the exposed Ca ions, and their left vacancies bring about a rearrangement of nearby atoms. The disordering is to some extent different for particles unannealed under different temperatures, resulting from fewer number of migrated hydroxyls at lower temperatures. Particles with different sizes have similar surface structures, and their surface energy decreases with increasing size. Moreover, the surface energy is reduced by hydroxyl migration because the exposed Ca ions on the surface are ionically bonded with the migrated hydroxyls. Our calculations proposed a new structure model for nano-HAP, which indicates a surface structure with activities different from those without surface reorganization. This is particularly interesting because most bioactivities of biomaterials are dominated by their surface activity. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Return to Publications page