Comparison of cation adsorption by isostructural rutile and cassiterite

Michael MacHesky, David Wesolowski, Jörgen Rosenqvist, Milan Předota, Lukas Vlcek, Moira Ridley, Vaibhav Kohli, Zhan Zhang, Paul Fenter, Peter Cummings, Serguei Lvov, Mark Fedkin, Victor Rodriguez-Santiago, James Kubicki, Andrei Bandura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Macroscopic net proton charging curves for powdered rutile and cassiterite specimens with the (110) crystal face predominant, as a function of pH in RbCl and NaCl solutions, trace SrCl2 in NaCl, and trace ZnCl2 in NaCl and Na Triflate solutions, are compared to corresponding molecular-level information obtained from static DFT optimizations and classical MD simulations, as well as synchrotron X-ray methods. The similarities and differences in the macroscopic charging behavior of rutile and cassiterite largely reflect the cation binding modes observed at the molecular level. Cation adsorption is primarily inner-sphere on both isostructural (110) surfaces, despite predictions that outer-sphere binding should predominate on low bulk dielectric constant oxides such as cassiterite (εbulk ≈ 11). Inner-sphere adsorption is also significant for Rb+ and Na + on neutral surfaces, whereas Cl- binding is predominately outer-sphere. As negative surface charge increases, relatively more Rb+, Na+, and especially Sr2+ are bound in highly desolvated tetradentate fashion on the rutile (110) surface, largely accounting for enhanced negative charge development relative to cassiterite. Charging curves in the presence of Zn2+ are very steep but similar for both oxides, reflective of Zn2+ hydrolysis (and accompanying proton release) during the adsorption process, and the similar binding modes for ZnOH+ on both surfaces. These results suggest that differences in cation adsorption between high and low bulk dielectric constant oxides are more subtly related to the relative degree of cation desolvation accompanying inner-sphere binding (i.e., more tetradentate binding on rutile), rather than distinct inner- and outer-sphere adsorption modes. Cation desolvation may be favored at the rutile (110) surface in part because inner-sphere water molecules are bound further from and less tightly than on the cassiterite (110) surface. Hence, their removal upon inner-sphere cation binding is relatively more favorable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4585-4593
Number of pages9
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 19 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of cation adsorption by isostructural rutile and cassiterite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this