Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol.103, No.8, 4234-4247, 2020
New insights into the crystallization process of sol-gel-derived 45S5 bioactive glass
In this work the influence of thermal treatment conditions was evaluated in a sol-gel-derived 45S5 bioactive glass using DSC, XRD, TEM, EDX, and X-ray nanocomputed tomography (nano-CT). Temperature and time of the thermal treatment strongly influence the composition of the crystalline phases. At the onset of the glass transition temperature (600 degrees C), combeite crystallizes as the main phase along with a calcium silicate-phosphate phase, which decomposes into rhenanite from 2 hours of thermal treatment at this temperature. At the crystallization temperature (700 degrees C), combeite remains as the main crystalline phase. Additionally, Na2Ca2Si2O7 crystalline phase is formed. Our results provide a basic platform for tailoring the crystalline phases by controlling the nucleation and growth of crystalline phases via thermal treatments. Different morphologies (round particles, stacked layers, toothpick-like, and long features) were discerned by TEM as a function of temperature and time of treatment. It is the first time that bioactive glass is investigated by X-ray nanocomputed tomography (nano-CT) at laboratory scale. This novel technique enables the 3D visualization of features in the nanometer range, giving a suggestion of the distribution in the sample of the parts composing the sample.