Author(s): Tian R, Yang G, Li H, Gao X, Liu X,
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Abstract A quantitative description of specific ion effects is an essential and focused topic in colloidal and biological science. In this work, the dynamic light scattering technique was employed to study the aggregation kinetics of colloidal particles in the various alkali ion solutions with a wide range of concentrations. It indicated that the activation energies could be used to quantitatively characterize specific ion effects, which was supported by the results of effective hydrodynamic diameters, aggregation rates and critical coagulation concentrations. At a given concentration of 25 mmol L(-1), the activation energies for Li(+) are 1.2, 5.7, 28, and 126 times as much for Na(+), K(+), Rb(+), and Cs(+), respectively. Most importantly, the activation energy differences between two alkali cation species increase sharply with decrease of electrolyte concentrations, implying the more pronounced specific ion effects at lower concentrations. The dominant role of electrolyte cations during the aggregation of negatively charged colloidal particles was confirmed by alternative anions. Among the various theories, only the polarization effect can give a rational interpretation of the above specific ion effects, and this is substantially supported by the presence of strong electric fields from montmorillonite surfaces and its association mainly with electrolyte cations and montmorillonite particles. The classical induction theory, although with inclusion of electric field, requires significant corrections because it predicts an opposite trend to the experimentally observed specific ion effects.
This article was published in Phys Chem Chem Phys
and referenced in Journal of Theoretical and Computational Science