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    Surface simulation studies of the hydration of white rust Fe(OH)2, goethite [alpha]-FeO(OH) and hematite [alpha]-Fe2O3

    de Leeuw, Nora Henriette and Cooper, Timothy G. (2007) Surface simulation studies of the hydration of white rust Fe(OH)2, goethite [alpha]-FeO(OH) and hematite [alpha]-Fe2O3. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 71 (7), 1655 - 1673. ISSN 0016-7037.

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    Computer modelling techniques were used to elucidate the hydration behaviour of three iron (hydr)oxide minerals at the atomic level: white rust, goethite and hematite. A potential model was first adapted and tested against the bulk structures and properties of eight different iron oxides, oxyhydroxides and hydroxides, followed by surface simulations of Fe(OH)2, α-FeO(OH) and α-Fe2O3. The major interaction between the adsorbing water molecules and the surface is through interaction of their oxygen ions with surface iron ions, followed by hydrogen-bonding to surface oxygen ions. The energies released upon the associative adsorption of water range from 1 to 17 kJ mol−1 for Fe(OH)2, 26 to 80 kJ mol−1 for goethite and 40 to 85 kJ mol−1 for hematite, reflecting the increasing oxidation of the iron mineral. Dissociative adsorption at goethite and hematite surfaces releases larger hydration energies, ranging from 120 to 208 kJ mol−1 for goethite and 76 to 190 kJ mol−1 for hematite. The thermodynamic morphologies of the minerals, based on the calculated surface energies, agree well with experimental morphologies, where these are available. When the partial pressures required for adsorption of water from the gas phase are plotted against temperature for the goethite and hematite surfaces, taking into account experimental entropies for water, it appears that these minerals may well be instrumental in the retention of water during the cyclic variations in the atmosphere of Mars.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2011 13:49
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:55


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