The difference in the local environment of CO32−, NO3, SO42−, and ClO4 in Mg/Al-hydrotalcite compared to the free anions was studied by infrared and Raman spectroscopy. In comparison to free CO32− a shift toward lower wavenumbers was observed. A band around 3000–3200 cm−1 has been attributed to the bridging mode H2O-CO32−. The IR spectrum of CO3 hydrotalcite clearly shows the split ν3 band around 1365 and 1400 cm−1 together with weak ν2 and ν4 modes around 870 and 667 cm−1. The ν1 mode is activated and observed as a weak band around 1012 cm−1. The Raman spectrum shows a strong ν1 band at 1053 cm−1 plus weak ν3 and ν4 modes around 1403 and 695 cm−1. The symmetry of the carbonate anions is lowered from D3h to C2s resulting in activation of the IR inactive ν1 mode around 1050–1060 cm−1. In addition, the ν3 shows a splitting of 30–60 cm−1. Although NO3-hydrotalcite has incorporated some CO32− the IR shows a strong ν3 mode at 1360 cm−1 with a weak band at 827 cm−1, and the ν4 band is observed at 667 cm−1, although it is largely obscured by the hydrotalcite lattice modes. The Raman spectrum shows a strong ν1 mode at 1044 cm−1 with a weaker ν4 band at 712 cm−1. The ν3 mode at 1355 cm−1 is obscured by a broad band due to the presence of CO32−. The symmetry of NO3 did not change when incorporated in hydrotalcite. The IR spectrum of SO4-hydrotalcite shows a strong ν3 at 1126, ν4 at 614 and a weak ν1 mode at 981 cm−1. The Raman spectrum is characterized by a strong ν1 mode at 982 cm−1 plus medium ν2 and ν4 bands at 453 and 611 cm−1; ν3 cannot be identified as a separate band, although a broad band can be seen around 1134 cm−1. The site symmetry of SO42− is lowered from Td to C2v. The distortion of ClO4 in the interlayer of hydrotalcite is reflected in the IR spectrum with both ν3 and ν4 bands split around 1096 and 1145 cm−1 and 626 and 635 cm−1, respectively. A weak ν1 band is observed at 935 cm−1. The Raman spectrum shows a strong ν1 mode at 936 cm−1 plus ν2 and ν4 bands at 461 and 626 cm−1, respectively. A ν3 mode cannot be clearly recognized, but a broad band is visible around 1110 cm−1. These data indicative a lowering of symmetry from Td to Cs.

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