For the reliable long-term modeling of the actinide migration in geological formations, the adsorption/desorption properties and the reactivity of mineral surfaces must be understood at the molecular level. The adsorption of radioisotopes at mineral surfaces of the aquifer is an important process that leads to the retention of contaminants such as radionuclides. Their transport by the ground water is either retarded or even completely inhibited by the presence of such a surface. Accordingly, this subject is of main importance for the safety assessment of nuclear waste repositories. As part of a joint theoretical/experimental effort, the interaction of water with the corundum (0001) surface is studied using several theoretical methods (Moller-Plesset perturbation theory, coupled cluster singles doubles with triplet corrections, as well as density functional theory). We focus in this study on the determination of the bond lengths and tilt angles of the surface OH species and their respective vibrational frequencies. The theoretical results are confirmed by subsequent simulation of the interface selective nonlinear sum frequency spectra. The excellent agreement of the simulated with the experimental spectra allows an assignment of the observed peaks in the sum frequency spectra of the water/corundum (0001) interface on the basis of our theoretical data. In this theoretical study we are able to give a unique interpretation of the observed sum frequency spectra of the water/corundum (0001) interface.

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