Institute of Functional Interfaces

Impact of Intrinsic Structural Properties on the Hydration of 2:1 Layer Silicates

  • chair:

    Schnetzer, F. / Johnston, C. T. / Premachandra, G. S. / Giraudo, N. / Schuhmann, R. / Thissen, P. / Emmerich, K (2017) 

  • place:

    Acs Earth and Space Chemistry, 2017, 1, 608-620 

  • Date: Oktober 2017


Several 2:1 layer silicates comprising di- and trioctahedral smectites of different layer charge between 0.2 and 0.4 per formula unit and a trioctahedral vermiculite were studied by an in situ method that allowed Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra and water vapor sorption isotherms to be obtained simultaneously. The particle size and shape of the selected materials were determined using X-ray diffraction and gas adsorption analyses, which provided an estimate of the particle size with resulting edge site proportion. The aim of this study was to elucidate the hydration mechanism in 2:1 layer silicates during desorption and adsorption of water vapor. Domains in the desorption and adsorption of water vapor of the smectite samples with a slightly increasing slope were explained by a heterogeneous layer charge distribution, which enables the coexistence of different hydration states even under controlled conditions. Whereas hysteresis was observed over the entire isothermal range of the smectites, the isotherm of the vermiculite sample only showed hysteresis in the transition from the monohydrated state (1W) to the bihydrated state (2W). We also revealed that hysteresis is a function of the layer charge distribution, the achieved water content, and the particle size with resulting edge site contribution. Increasing the edge site proportions led to an increased hysteresis. The findings from the experimental FTIR/gravimetric analysis showed that the transition from 2W to 1W and backward is visible using infrared spectroscopy. The shifting of δ(H–O–H) was influenced by the layer charge and octahedral substitutions. As a final point, we use water as a sensor molecule to describe the OH groups of the octahedral sheet and show that the observed shifts result from a change in the tilting angle. Our experimental results were supported by ab initio thermodynamic simulations that revealed the different shifting behavior of δ(H–O–H) and δ(Mx+–OH–Ny+) related to the differences in surface charge density and octahedral compositions.