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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2010 Apr 15;344(2):362-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2010.01.012. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Surface force measurements at the basal planes of ordered kaolinite particles.

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Department of Metallurgical Engineering, College of Mines and Earth Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


An experimental procedure is presented to order kaolinite particles on substrates for interrogation of the two basal plane surfaces by atomic force microscopy. Surface force measurements were performed between a silicon nitride tip and each of the two faces (silica tetrahedral face and alumina octahedral face) of kaolinite in 1 mM KCl solution at pH 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10, using atomic force microscopy. The colloidal force measurements reveal that the silica tetrahedral face of kaolinite is negatively charged at pH>4, whereas the alumina octahedral face of kaolinite is positively charged at pH<6, and negatively charged at pH>8. Such measurements have not been reported previously and the results suggest that the iso-electric point of the silica tetrahedral face is at pH<4, and that the iso-electric point of the alumina octahedral face lies between pH 6 and 8. These results contradict the generally accepted view that basal plane surfaces of kaolinite carry a permanent negative charge due to minor substitution of Al(3+) for Si(4+) in the silica tetrahedral layer, and suggest some surface charge dependency of the two faces with respect to solution pH. With this new information it may be possible to further explain the electrokinetic behavior of kaolinite particles, and their interactions in aqueous suspensions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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