Zeta-potential measurements of OTS-covered silica samples
We have carried out zeta-potential measurements on two different OTS (octadecyl-trichlorosilane)-covered silicas (fused silica, quartz 0001) prepared under identical conditions. Streaming current measurements on the fused silica supported OTS sample indicate a well reproducible IEP of 3.5. The major part of the study focused on the quartz 0001 supported sample with an IEP lower than that of the fused silica support and in agreement with that found in a spectroscopic study. The IEP in water (on addition of HCl) was found at around pH 3, and appeared to shift to lower values in three subsequent measurements. A final measurement after a separate series in KCl media gave the same IEP as obtained in the very first measurement, suggesting that the experiments did not significantly change the interfacial properties despite a large number of experiments. In one series of measurements care was taken to exclude any cations other than protons from the measurements, such that protons are the only counter-ions to the negative net charge. While our IEPs with the quartz support agree well with recent estimates from sum frequency generation (SFG) investigations, none of the zeta-potential vs pH curves would mimic a pattern experimentally observed in the amplitude of the “ice-like” water band between pH 3.5 and 5 in that SFG study. Furthermore, our results do not indicate any significant chloride-ion adsorption in KCl systems, but instead the shift of the IEP with increasing KCl to higher pH values rather indicates specific effects of potassium ions. Under conditions more relevant to the spectroscopic study (i.e. in absence of potassium) no specific pattern reminiscent of the SFG results was found. When tested it was found that surface conductivity was negligible.
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