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Title: Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Barium Sulfate at Organic–Water Interfaces: Interplay between Surface Hydrophobicity and Ba 2+ Adsorption

Barium sulfate (BaSO4) is a common scale-forming mineral in natural and engineered systems, yet the rates and mechanisms of heterogeneous BaSO4 nucleation are not understood. To address these, we created idealized interfaces on which to study heterogeneous nucleation rates and mechanisms, which also are good models for organic–water interfaces: self-assembled thin films terminated with different functional groups (i.e., -COOH, -SH, or mixed -SH & COOH) coated on glass slides. BaSO4 precipitation on coatings from Barite-supersaturated solutions (saturation index, SI, = 1.1) was investigated using grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering. After reaction for 1 h, a little amount of BaSO4 formed on hydrophilic bare and -COOH coated glasses. Meanwhile, BaSO4 nucleation was significantly promoted on hydrophobic -SH and mixed -SH & COOH coatings. This is because substrate hydrophobicity likely affected the interfacial energy and hence thermodynamic favorability of heterogeneous nucleation. The heterogeneous BaSO4 nucleation and growth kinetics were found to be affected by the amount of Ba2+ adsorption onto the substrate and incipient BaSO4 nuclei. The importance of Ba2+ adsorption was further corroborated by the finding that precipitation rate increased under [Ba2+]/[SO42–] concentration ratios >1. These observations suggest that thermodynamic favorability for nucleation is governed by substrate–water interfacial energy, while given favorablemore » thermodynamics, the rate is governed by ion attachment to substrates and incipient nuclei.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Langmuir; Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 21
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
barite; precipitation; small angle X-ray scattering