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Rb+ Adsorption at the Quartz(101)–Aqueous Interface: Comparison of Resonant Anomalous X-ray Reflectivity with ab Initio Calculations

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The Journal of Physical Chemistry C
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Adsorption of Rb+ to the quartz(101)–aqueous interface at room temperature was studied with specular X-ray reflectivity, resonant anomalous X-ray reflectivity, and density functional theory. The interfacial water structures observed in deionized water and 10 mM RbCl solution at pH 9.8 were similar, having a first water layer at height of 1.7 ± 0.1 Å above the quartz surface and a second layer at 4.8 ± 0.1 Å and 3.9 ± 0.8 Å for the water and RbCl solutions, respectively. The adsorbed Rb+ distribution is broad and consists of presumed inner-sphere (IS) and outer-sphere (OS) complexes at heights of 1.8 ± 0.1 and 6.4 ± 1.0 Å, respectively. Projector-augmented planewave density functional theory (DFT) calculations of potential configurations for neutral and negatively charged quartz(101) surfaces at pH 7 and 12, respectively, reveal a water structure in agreement with experimental results. These DFT calculations also show differences in adsorbed speciation of Rb+ between these two conditions. At pH 7, the lowest energy structure shows that Rb+ adsorbs dominantly as an IS complex, whereas at pH 12 IS and OS complexes have equivalent energies. The DFT results at pH 12 are generally consistent with the two site Rb distribution observed from the X-ray data at pH 9.8, albeit with some differences that are discussed. The surface charge estimated on the basis of the measured total Rb+ coverage was −0.11 C/m2, in good agreement with the range of the surface charge magnitudes reported in the literature.