Studies in clay chemistry
A study of clay chemistry has been approached with three aims: - to modify the conducting properties by intercalation of tetrathiafulvalene, - to study the electrochemistry of redox-active coordination compounds immobilised on clay coated electrodes, and - to study the role of clays as reagents in inorganic glass forming reactions using mainly solid-state magic-angle-spinning NMR. TTF was intercalated by smectites containing different interlayer and lattice cations. Evidence from ESR and 57Fe Mossbauer indicated charge-transfer from TTF to structural iron in natural montmorillonite, and to interlayer Cu2+ in Cu2+ exchanged laponite. No charge transfer was observed for laponite (Na+ form) itself. Ion exchange of TTF3(BF4)2 with laponite was found to proceed quantitatively. The intercalated species were believed to be (TTF)2+ dimers. Conductivity data showed an order of magnitude increase for the intercalated clays. The mechanism is thought to be ionic rather than CT as Na+ laponite showed a similar enhancement in conductivity. Mechanically robust colloidal clay films were prepared on platinum electrodes. After immersion in solutions containing redox active complexes [Co(bpy)3]3+ and [Cr(bpy)3]3+, the films became electroactive when a potential was applied. Cyclic voltammograms obtained for both complexes were found to be of the diffusion controlled type. For [Co(bpy)3]3+ immobilised on clay coated electrodes, a one-step oxidation and four-step reduction wave was observed corresponding to a one electron stepwise reversible reduction of Co(III), through Co(II), Co(I), Co(O) to Co(I) oxidation state. For [Cr(bpy)3]3+ the electrochemistry was complicated by the presence of additional waves corresponding to the dissociation of [Cr(bpy)3]3+ into the diaquo complex. ESR and diffuse reflectance data supported such a mechanism. 29Si, 27Al and 23Na MAS NMR spectroscopy, supported by powder XRD and FTIR, was used to probe the role of clays as reagents in glass forming reactions. 29Si MAS NMR was found to be a very sensitive technique for identifying the presence and relative abundance of crystalline and non-crystalline phases. In thermal reactions of laponite formation of new mineral phases such as forsterite, akermanite, sillimanite and diopside were detected. The relative abundance of each phase was dependent on thermal history, chemical nature and concentration of the modifier oxide present. In continuing work, the effect of selected oxides on the glass forming reactions of a model feldspar composition was investigated using solid state NMR alone. Addition of network modifying oxides generally produced less negative 29Si chemical shifts and larger linewidths corresponding to a wider distribution of Si-O-Si bond angles and lengths, and a dominant aluminosilicate phase with a less polymerised structure than the starting material. 29Si linewidths and 27Al chemical shifts were respectively correlated with cationic potential and Lewis acidity of the oxide cations. Anomalous Al(4) chemical shifts were thought to be due to precipitation of aluminate phases rather than a breakdown in Lowenstein's aluminium avoidance principle.