Abstract

The organoclay quasicrystals formed by exchange reactions of fluoromagnesian smectite (FMS) and two kinds of cationic surfactants were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) of both aqueous suspensions and dried powders. ζ potential measurements were also carried out. The two cationic surfactants employed in this study, dodecyltriphenylphosphonium bromide (C12PBr) and dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide (C12NBr), have the same alkyl chain length but different head group structures. In aqueous suspensions of C12N/FMS, regular stacking with a basal spacing of 2.28 nm was observed within the range 0.4 to 1.0 of the cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the C12N/FMS ratios. The basal spacing was constant in this range. The most intense diffraction for the C12N/FMS suspension was observed at 0.6 CEC, and a further increase in the C12N/FMS ratio resulted in a decline of the diffraction intensity and a slight increase in the peak width. On the other hand, in C12P/FMS suspensions with the surfactant/FMS ratios <0.6 CEC, only weak, broad XRD peaks were observed. With higher C12P/FMS ratios (0.8 and 1.0 CEC), strong diffraction peaks appeared with a basal spacing of 3.20 nm. The differencein the observed basal spacings of C12N/FMS and C12P/FMS tactoids was ~0.9 nm, which did not agree with the difference in the estimated height of the two surfactants (~0.1 nm). These differences of the tactoid structures between C12N/FMS and C12P/FMS suspensions could be explained in terms of the difference in the adsorption manner of the surfactants on the silicate surface and in the size of the surfactant head groups.

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