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Title: Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Nanoparticles at Environmental Interfaces

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, United States
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (NCGC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1388274
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Accounts of Chemical Research; Journal Volume: 49; Journal Issue: 9; Related Information: NCGC partners with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (lead); University of California, Davis; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ohio State University; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Washington University, St. Louis
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
bio-inspired, mechanical behavior, carbon sequestration

Citation Formats

Jun, Young-Shin, Kim, Doyoon, and Neil, Chelsea W. Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Nanoparticles at Environmental Interfaces. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00208.
Jun, Young-Shin, Kim, Doyoon, & Neil, Chelsea W. Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Nanoparticles at Environmental Interfaces. United States. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00208.
Jun, Young-Shin, Kim, Doyoon, and Neil, Chelsea W. 2016. "Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Nanoparticles at Environmental Interfaces". United States. doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00208.
@article{osti_1388274,
title = {Heterogeneous Nucleation and Growth of Nanoparticles at Environmental Interfaces},
author = {Jun, Young-Shin and Kim, Doyoon and Neil, Chelsea W.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1021/acs.accounts.6b00208},
journal = {Accounts of Chemical Research},
number = 9,
volume = 49,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}
  • Here, mineral nucleation is a phase transformation of aqueous components to solids with an accompanying creation of new surfaces. In this evolutional, yet elusive, process, nuclei often form at environmental interfaces, which provide remarkably reactive sites for heterogeneous nucleation and growth. Naturally occurring nucleation processes significantly contribute to the biogeochemical cycles of important components in the Earth’s crust, such as iron and manganese oxide minerals and calcium carbonate. However, in recent decades, these cycles have been significantly altered by anthropogenic activities, which affect the aqueous chemistry and equilibrium of both surface and subsurface systems. These alterations can trigger the dissolutionmore » of existing minerals and formation of new nanoparticles (i.e., nucleation and growth) and consequently change the porosity and permeability of geomedia in subsurface environments. Newly formed nanoparticles can also actively interact with components in natural and engineered aquatic systems, including those posing a significant hazard such as arsenic. These interactions can bilaterally influence the fate and transport of both newly formed nanoparticles and aqueous components. Due to their importance in natural and engineered processes, heterogeneous nucleation at environmental interfaces has started to receive more attention. However, a lack of time-resolved in situ analyses makes the evaluation of heterogeneous nucleation challenging because the physicochemical properties of both the nuclei and surfaces significantly and dynamically change with time and aqueous chemistry. This Account reviews our in situ kinetic studies of the heterogeneous nucleation and growth behaviors of iron(III) (hydr)oxide, calcium carbonate, and manganese (hydr)oxide minerals in aqueous systems. In particular, we utilized simultaneous small-angle and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/GISAXS) to investigate in situ and in real-time the effects of water chemistry and substrate identity on heterogeneously and homogeneously formed nanoscale precipitate size dimensions and total particle volume. Using this technique, we also provided a new platform for quantitatively comparing between heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation and growth of nanoparticles and obtaining undiscovered interfacial energies between nuclei and surfaces. In addition, nanoscale surface characterization tools, such as in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM), were utilized to support and complement our findings. With these powerful nanoscale tools, we systematically evaluated the influences of environmentally abundant (oxy)anions and cations and the properties of environmental surfaces, such as surface charge and hydrophobicity. The findings, significantly enhanced by in situ observations, can lead to a more accurate prediction of the behaviors of nanoparticles in the environment and enable better control of the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles in engineered systems, such as catalytic reactions and energy storage.« less
  • Here, mineral nucleation is a phase transformation of aqueous components to solids with an accompanying creation of new surfaces. In this evolutional, yet elusive, process, nuclei often form at environmental interfaces, which provide remarkably reactive sites for heterogeneous nucleation and growth. Naturally occurring nucleation processes significantly contribute to the biogeochemical cycles of important components in the Earth’s crust, such as iron and manganese oxide minerals and calcium carbonate. However, in recent decades, these cycles have been significantly altered by anthropogenic activities, which affect the aqueous chemistry and equilibrium of both surface and subsurface systems. These alterations can trigger the dissolutionmore » of existing minerals and formation of new nanoparticles (i.e., nucleation and growth) and consequently change the porosity and permeability of geomedia in subsurface environments. Newly formed nanoparticles can also actively interact with components in natural and engineered aquatic systems, including those posing a significant hazard such as arsenic. These interactions can bilaterally influence the fate and transport of both newly formed nanoparticles and aqueous components. Due to their importance in natural and engineered processes, heterogeneous nucleation at environmental interfaces has started to receive more attention. However, a lack of time-resolved in situ analyses makes the evaluation of heterogeneous nucleation challenging because the physicochemical properties of both the nuclei and surfaces significantly and dynamically change with time and aqueous chemistry. This Account reviews our in situ kinetic studies of the heterogeneous nucleation and growth behaviors of iron(III) (hydr)oxide, calcium carbonate, and manganese (hydr)oxide minerals in aqueous systems. In particular, we utilized simultaneous small-angle and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/GISAXS) to investigate in situ and in real-time the effects of water chemistry and substrate identity on heterogeneously and homogeneously formed nanoscale precipitate size dimensions and total particle volume. Using this technique, we also provided a new platform for quantitatively comparing between heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation and growth of nanoparticles and obtaining undiscovered interfacial energies between nuclei and surfaces. In addition, nanoscale surface characterization tools, such as in situ atomic force microscopy (AFM), were utilized to support and complement our findings. With these powerful nanoscale tools, we systematically evaluated the influences of environmentally abundant (oxy)anions and cations and the properties of environmental surfaces, such as surface charge and hydrophobicity. The findings, significantly enhanced by in situ observations, can lead to a more accurate prediction of the behaviors of nanoparticles in the environment and enable better control of the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles in engineered systems, such as catalytic reactions and energy storage.« less
  • 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 onmore » 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 favorable thermodynamics, the rate is governed by ion attachment to substrates and incipient nuclei.« less
  • Barium sulfate (BaSO 4) is a common scale-forming mineral in natural and engineered systems, yet the rates and mechanisms of heterogeneous BaSO 4 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 BaSO4more » 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 BaSO 4 nucleation and growth kinetics were found to be affected by the amount of Ba 2+ adsorption onto the substrate and incipient BaSO 4 nuclei. The importance of Ba 2+ adsorption was further corroborated by the finding that precipitation rate increased under [Ba 2+]/[SO 4 2–] concentration ratios >1. These observations suggest that thermodynamic favorability for nucleation is governed by substrate–water interfacial energy, while given favorable thermodynamics, the rate is governed by ion attachment to substrates and incipient nuclei.« less