Corrected Debye-Hückel analysis of surface complexation; III. Spherical particle charging including ion condensation.
Journal article, 2004
Statistical mechanics has been used to derive a model for the charging of a spherical particle in a salt solution to complement our experimental studies and gain a deeper understanding of the processes involved in surface complexation. Our chosen model goes beyond the equilibrium constants and the Gouy-Chapmann theory currently used in surface complexation models. The proton adsorption is taken to occur at a harmonic potential well on the surface characterized by a frequency v and a well depth u(0). Outside the particle surface there is a capacitor layer of width w(c) which is impenetrable to the salt ions. The diffuse screening of the charged particle is described by a corrected Debye-Hückel analysis accounting for ion size in the ion-ion interactions. To account also for nonlinear electrostatic response a layer of condensed counterions has been introduced. The criterion for the onset of ion condensation is that the electrostatic field exceeds a linear response criterion. Ion size effects are accounted for in terms of hole-corrected electrostatic energies and excluded volume. The model has been applied to titrated surface charge data on goethite (alpha-FeOOH) at various background concentrations and good agreement between the experimental data and the model was obtained. Both the size of the screening ions and the central particle size were shown to be of importance for the surface charge.