Clay minerals are important components of the environment and are involved or implicated in processes such as the uptake of pollutants and the release of nutrients and as potential platforms for a number of chemical reactions. Owing to their small particle sizes (typically, on the order of microns or smaller) and mixing with a variety of other minerals and soil components, advanced characterization methods are needed to study their structures, dynamics, and reactivities. In this article, we describe the use of solid-state NMR methods to characterize the structures and chemistries of clay minerals. Early one-pulse magic-angle spinning (MAS) NMR studies of 27Al and 29Si have now been enhanced and extended with new studies utilizing advanced methodologies (such as Multiple Quantum MAS) as well as studies of less-sensitive nuclei. In additional work, the issue of reactivity of clay minerals has been addressed, including studies of reactive surface area in the environment. Utilizations of NMR-sensitive nuclides within the clay minerals themselves, and in molecules that react with specific sites on the clay mineral surfaces, have aided in understanding the reactivity of these complex aluminosilicate systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging