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HRTEM study of freeze-dried and untreated synthetic ferrihydrites: consequences of sample processing

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Abstract:

Two-line ferrihydrite samples were synthesized following conventional procedure. Detailed characterizations of freeze-dried and untreated samples - prepared from direct inclusion of the fresh precipitates in hydrophilic resin - were made by high resolution transmission electron microscopy to investigate in detail their structural organization and to compare the two types of preparations.

Only highly disordered chain-like aggregates of 2 5 nm diameter size nano-particles were revealed within the untreated samples. Conversely, in freeze-dried samples, domains with different degrees of order were recognized, from poorly ordered 2-line ferrihydrite to 3-line ferrihydrite particle aggregates that revealed lattice fringes. Associated with these aggregates, a goethite phase with a modified crystal morphology was also observed.

These HRTEM observations revealed that freeze-drying techniques induce artifacts by disturbing ferrihydrite aggregates while direct inclusion in hydrophilic resin preserves the primary organization of such poorly ordered phases.

Keywords: FE OXY-HYDROXIDE; FERRIHYDRITE; GOETHITE; HYDROPHILIC RESIN INCLUSIONS; SYNTHESIS; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1180/000985501750539472

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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