Improvement of the reactivity of triethyl phosphate and structural behavior of hydroxyapatite versus the synthesis conditions by sol–gel route


Hydroxyapatite (HA) is a biocompatible and bioactive material used as bone-substitute materials in both orthopedics and dentistry. This work is devoted to studying the synthesis of hydroxyapatite (HA) by sol–gel route using triethyl phosphate (TEP) and calcium nitrate tetrahydrate as calcium and phosphor precursors. In order to optimize the hydrolysis of TEP, each prepared solution was aged in a closed Teflon ® container. Several factors were tested in order to improve the synthesis conditions of well-crystallized HA. The effect of aging time (4 h, 16 h, and 24 h), aging temperature (25 °C, 50 °C, 70 °C, and 90 °C) of the prepared solutions, and the type of solvents (ethanol and/or distilled water) were tested. All dried gels were calcined at 700 °C for 1 h. The obtained results showed that the crystallinity degree of hydroxyapatite increases with aging time and temperature, which must not exceed 70 °C. When the prepared solutions were aged at 90 °C, the tri-calcium phosphate (TCP) was formed as a major phase and HA was present as a very minor phase. It was remarked that the aging of sols in a closed Teflon container ® leads to an important decrease of the aging time and temperature. It was found that 24 h and 70 °C are the optimal conditions for the synthesis of well-crystallized HA. Also, it was deduced that a sufficient amount of water was needed to hydrolyze the triethyl phosphate and consequently, to obtain a well-crystallized HA.



Sol–gel · Hydroxyapatite · Hydrolysis · Aging time · Aging temperature · Solvent