Anhydrous amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) is structurally different from the transient phase of biogenic ACC
Amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) is an important precursor phase of biogenic calcite. In this work, an in situ Ca L-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopic study has been carried out to monitor the phase transformation process of hydrated ACC from room temperature to 773 K in the presence of water vapor pressure at 0.4 mbar. The L2,3 crystal field splittings of the near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) spectra acquired for hydrated and anhydrous ACC are indistinguishable. The transformation process from anhydrous ACC to calcite is greatly facilitated by the presence of water moisture. Our data acquired for nano-calcite are in close resemblance to those reported for “type 2” ACC in sea urchin larval spicules. We suggest that “type 2 ACC” or the “transient phase of ACC” is a disordered calcium carbonate phase with a nascent calcitic structure at the nanometer length scale.