Infrared spectroscopy in the mid-IR region was used to follow the structural changes occurring in five Li-saturated dioctahedral smectites upon heating. The smectites included three montmorillonites, an Fe-beidellite and a ferruginous smectite. Fixation of Li+ ions in the structure even upon heating at 120°C caused the appearance of an AlMgLiOH-stretching band near 3670 cm−1 in the spectra of all three montmorillonites. This band confirmed the presence of Li(I) in the previously vacant octahedral positions in montmorillonites. No similar band was observed in the spectra of ferruginous heated smectites with prevailing tetrahedral charge. A gradual upward frequency shift and decrease in intensity of the AlAlOH-bending band showed that Li(I) present in the hexagonal cavities causes pronounced perturbation of this OH-bending mode. The Li(I) present in the octahedral sheets causes small perturbations of the OH-bending mode near 850 cm−1 and activation of a new OH-bending mode near 803 cm−1. Reversible changes in the positions of the stretching Si–O and bending OH bands in the spectra of Fe-beidellite and a ferruginous smectite proved that Li was present in these minerals primarily in the hexagonal holes of the tetrahedral sheets.

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