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Uranyl surface complexes in a mixed-charge montmorillonite: Monte Carlo computer simulation and polarized XAFS results

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We report a combined experimental and theoretical study of uranyl complexes that form on the interlayer siloxane surfaces of montmorillonite. We also consider the effect of isomorphic substitution on surface complexation since our montmorillonite sample contains charge sites in both the octahedral and tetrahedral sheets. Results are given for the two-layer hydrate with a layer spacing of 14.58 Å. Polarized-dependent X-ray absorption fine structure spectra are nearly invariant with the incident angle, indicating that the uranyl ions are oriented neither perpendicular nor parallel to the basal plane of montmorillonite. The equilibrated geometry from Monte Carlo simulations suggests that uranyl ions form outer-sphere surface complexes with the [O=U=O]2+ axis tilted at an angle of ∼45° to the surface normal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2005

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  • The JOURNAL publishes articles of interest to the international community of clay scientists, including but not limited to areas in mineralogy, crystallography, geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, soil science, agronomy, physical chemistry, colloid chemistry, ceramics, petroleum engineering, foundry engineering, and soil mechanics. Clays and Clay Minerals exists to disseminate to its worldwide readership the most recent developments in all of these aspects of clay materials. Manuscripts are welcome from all countries.

    Clays and Clay Minerals is the official publication of The Clay Minerals Society.

    The Editor-in-Chief is Professor Joseph W. Stucki [email protected]

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