Fractionation of clay colloids and their synthetic utility in vanadium hydroxide-clay thin film formation

Ping Song, Qintang Li, László Almásy, Xianguo Tuo, Minhao Yan, Mark J. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Stable mineral colloids play a role in the mobilization of actinide contaminants in the environment. In this paper we present a method to isolate and identify colloids released from high surface area sorbents associated with a proposed clay mineral barrier in a nuclear waste repository. The mineral colloids, which have a strong tendency to remain dispersed in solution, were separated from Al 13 - or (Ce–Al)-pillared clay sediment, adsorbed on glass together with hydrolyzed vanadium(IV) species and studied by a variety of techniques including grazing-incidence X-ray scattering (GIXS), small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). We show that the clay platelets are dimensionally orientated in the continuous, transparent 100 nm thick film until the onset of vanadium oxides above 350 °C. Organic matter and the secondary mineral quartz limit the swelling capacity of the platelets, an indication that the stable colloids originate from a part of the native clay that could not be intercalated by aluminum cations. X-ray scattering from oriented clay films intercalated by aluminum- and mixed cerium/aluminum oxo-hydroxy cations are also investigated by the GIXS technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Clay mineral barrier
  • Grazing-incidence X-ray scattering
  • Nanocolloids
  • Vanadium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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