Detection of ion adsorption at solid–liquid interfaces using internal reflection ellipsometry

Lei Wang, Cunlu Zhao, Michael H.G. Duits, Frieder Mugele, Igor Sîretanu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We use imaging internal reflection ellipsometry (IRE) in combination with a microfluidic device to study the adsorption of inorganic salt ions to silica–water interfaces. In our data analysis, the measured polarization-dependent reflectivity is compared to calculations from a layer stack model, where the electric double layer is modeled as a separate layer. Due to the high resolution of our technique, we are able to quantify the adsorption of Na+ and Ca2+ ions from aqueous solutions of their chloride salts as a function of their bulk concentrations at pH 3 and 10. Our measurements demonstrate a preferential adsorption of Ca2+ counterions. The experimental results are well described by calculations using a triple layer surface complexation model for the electric double layer with published equilibrium constants
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-655
JournalSensors and actuators. B: Chemical
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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