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Freezing and Melting of Salt Hydrates Next to Solid Surfaces Probed by Infrared–Visible Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-06-12, 00:00 authored by Emmanuel Anim-Danso, Yu Zhang, Ali Dhinojwala
Understanding the freezing of salt solutions near solid surfaces is important in many scientific fields. Here we use sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy to study the freezing of a NaCl solution next to a sapphire substrate. During cooling we observe two transitions. The first corresponds to segregation of concentrated brine next to the sapphire surface as we cool the system down to the region where ice and brine phases coexist. At this transition, the intensity of the ice-like peak decreases, suggesting the disruption of hydrogen-bonding by sodium ions. The second transition corresponds to the formation of NaCl hydrates with abrupt changes in both the SFG intensity and the sharpness of spectral peaks. The similarity in the position of the SFG peaks with those observed using IR and Raman spectroscopy indicates the formation of NaCl·2H2O crystals next to the sapphire substrate. The melting temperatures of the hydrates are very similar to those reported for bulk NaCl·2H2O. This study enhances our understanding of nucleation and freezing of salt solutions on solid surfaces and the effects of salt ions on the structure of interfacial ice.