Abstract

The surface properties of various synthetic layered silicates, Na-kanemite, Na-kenyaite and magadiite, exchanged with H, K and Ca, were examined using high-resolution nitrogen and argon adsorption and the data were treated using the Derivative Isotherm Summation method. Using argon as an adsorbate, the aspect ratio of platelets can be determined. In the case of magadiite exchanged with various cations, the stacking of particles is influenced by the nature of the exchangeable cations, thicker platelets being observed for ions with low polarizability. High-resolution argon adsorption data also confirm some structural information previously deduced from Raman spectroscopy experiments concerning the existence of rather open six-membered rings at the surfaces of both magadiite and kenyaite. Furthermore, in the low-energy domain of the isotherms, argon forms a very organized film on basal planes, suggesting a commensurate relationship between silica framework and argon atoms for both magadiite and kenyaite, contrary to what is observed for kanemite. Nitrogen adsorption results reveal the presence of polar sites on the surface of all the investigated minerals but does not allow us to propose an unequivocal assignment for such sites.

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