Infrared Spectroscopic Analyses on the Nature of Water in Montmorillonite

Janice L. Bishop1, 2, Carlé M. Pieters2 and John O. Edwards1
1 Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912
2 Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912
Address correspondence to: Janice Bishop, DLR, Forchungszentrum Berlin Institute fuer Planetenerkundung Rudower Chaussee 5 12484 Berlin, Germany.

Abstract: Interlayer cations and moisture content greatly influence the molecular vibrations of H2O in montmorillonite as shown through reflectance spectroscopy in the infrared. The absorptions due to H2O have been studied in montmorillonites exchanged with H, Na, Ca, Mg and Fe3+ interlayer cations under variable moisture environments. Band assignments have been made for absorptions in the 3 µm region due to structural OH vibrations, symmetric and asymmetric H2O stretching vibrations and the H2O bending overtone. Changes in the energies of the absorptions due to H2O stretching vibrations were observed as the samples were dehydrated by reducing the atmospheric pressure. Absorptions near 3620 cm-1 and 3550 cm-1 have been assigned to water bound directly to cations (inner sphere) and surface-bonded H2O and absorptions near 3450 cm-1 and 3350 cm-1 have been assigned to additional adsorbed water molecules. Band assignments have been made for combination bands in the near-infrared as well. Absorptions near 1.41 µm and 1.91 µm are assigned to bound H2O combination bands, while the shoulders near 1.46 µm and 1.91 µm are assigned to combinations of additional H2O molecules adsorbed in the interlayer regions and along grain surfaces.

Key Words: Montmorillonite • Spectroscopy • Water

Clays and Clay Minerals; December 1994 v. 42; no. 6; p. 702-716; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1994.0420606
© 1994, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)