Most undergraduate students of aqueous geochemistry are told that polynuclear aqueous complexes can largely be ignored because they form only from concentrated metal solutions that are rare at the Earth’s surface. However, these polynuclear complexes can serve as models for more-complicated surface structures and are the precursors to nanometric and colloidal solids and solutes. There are many reasons why polynuclear complexes should be foremost in the minds of geochemists, and particularly those geochemists who are interested in molecular information and reaction pathways:

In this chapter we discuss polynuclear complexes of aluminum. There is a wide variety of multimeric complexes of...

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