Mechanisms of metal ion sorption on calcite: Composition mapping by lateral force microscopy

Michael B. Hay, Richard K. Workman, Srinivas Manne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We show that lateral force microscopy (also known as frictional force microscopy) can differentiate between substrate and overlayer phases during an inorganic surface reaction. A calcite substrate is imaged in situ, while immersed in aqueous solutions of pH ∼ 6 9 containing metal ions (Cd2+, Sr2-, and La3+) at concentrations of 10-5 to 10-3 M. Cd2+ and Sr2- passivate surface steps, initiating overgrowth only in solutions already supersaturated relative to their respective carbonates. In contrast, La3+ initiates overgrowth even in undersaturated conditions and carries the reaction to completion by scavenging carbonate anions directly from the dissolving calcite surface. Monomolecular surface steps play a central role, serving as both dissolution sites for the substrate and nucleation sites for the overgrowth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3727-3740
Number of pages14
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 29 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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