Surface-charge anisotropy of scheelite crystals

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Atomic force microscopy was employed to measure the colloidal interactions between silicon nitride cantilever tips and scheelite crystal surfaces in 1 mM KCl solutions of varying pH. By fitting the Derjguin−Landau−Verwey−Overbeek (DLVO) theoretical model to the recorded force–distance curves, the surface-charge density and surface-potential values were calculated for three crystallographic surfaces including {112}, {101}, and {001}. The calculated surface-potential values were negative in both acidic and basic solutions and varied among crystallographic surfaces. The determined surface-potential values were within zeta-potential values reported in the literature for powdered scheelite minerals. The surface {101} was the most negatively charged surface, followed by {112} and {001}. The surface potential for {001} was only slightly affected by pH, whereas the surface potential for both {112} and {101} increased with increasing pH. Anisotropy in surface-charge density was analyzed in relation to the surface density of active oxygen atoms, that is, the density of oxygen atoms with one or two broken bond(s) within tungstate ions located in the topmost surface layer. On a surface with a higher surface density of active oxygen atoms, a larger number of OH– are expected to adsorb through hydrogen bonding, leading to a more negatively charged surface.

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© 2016 American Chemical Society. Publisher's version of record:

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