Abstract

A novel method for the analysis of clay minerals using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is presented. Clay mineral suspensions are dried on a Si wafer substrate for transmission infrared (IR) analysis. Four natural Source Clays from the Source Clays Repository of The Clay Minerals Society, SWy-2, SAz-1, SHCa-1 and KGa-1b, as well as the synthetic hectorite, Laponite RD, were analyzed using the described method with signal to noise (s/n) ratios in excess of 100,000 for the strongly absorbing Si–O stretching frequency. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images show that the mineral films possess suitable uniformity and low surface roughness for transmission IR measurements that is confirmed by minimal deviations in the baseline of collected IR spectra. The IR spectra are generated and peak locations are compared to previously reported values, generated from KBr pellet and attenuated total reflectance methods.

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