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Enhanced Formation of Solvent-Shared Ion Pairs in Aqueous Calcium Perchlorate Solution toward Saturated Concentration or Deep Supercooling Temperature and Its Effects on the Water Structure

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journal contribution
posted on 01.11.2019, 14:41 by Shen Tu, Sergey S. Lobanov, Jianming Bai, Hui Zhong, Jason Gregerson, A. Deanne Rogers, Lars Ehm, John B. Parise
As a candidate of Martian salts, calcium perchlorate [Ca­(ClO4)2] has the potential to stabilize liquid water on the Martian surface because of its hygroscopicity and low freezing temperature when forming aqueous solution. These two properties of electrolytes in general have been suggested to result from the specific cation–anion–water interaction (ion pairing) that interrupts the structure of solvent water. To investigate how this concentration-dependent and temperature-dependent ion pairing process in aqueous Ca­(ClO4)2 solution leads to its high hygroscopic property and the extreme low eutectic temperature, we have conducted two sets of experiments. First, the effects of concentration on aqueous calcium perchlorate from 3 to 7.86 m on ion pairing were investigated using Raman spectroscopy. Deconvolution of the Raman symmetric stretching band (ν1) of ClO4 showed the enhanced formation of solvent-shared ion pairs upon increasing salt concentration at room temperature. We have confirmed that the low tendency of forming contact ion pairs in concentrated solution contributes to the high hygroscopicity of the salt. Second, the near eutectic samples were studied as a function of temperature by both combined differential scanning calorimetry–Raman spectroscopic experiments and in situ X-ray diffraction. The number of solvent-shared ion pairs was found to increase with decreasing temperature when cooled below the temperature of maximum density of the solution, driven by a change in water toward an ice-like structure in the supercooled regime. The massive presence of solvent-shared ion pairs in turn limits the development of the long-range order in the tetrahedral networks of water molecules, which is responsible for the extremely low eutectic point and deep supercooling effects observed in the Ca­(ClO4)2–H2O system.

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