The role of the cation in the oxygen isotopic exchange in crystalline sulfate salt hydrates

S. Attia, L. Hevroni, A. Danon, D. Meyerstein, J. E. Koresh, Y. Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The oxygen isotopic exchange during dehydration and decomposition of five sulfate salt hydrates (CoSO4·6H2O, NiSO 4·7H2O, ZnSO4·7H2O, CaSO4·2H2O, Li2SO4· H2O) was studied in detail by temperature programmed desorption mass spectrometry (TPD-MS) in a supersonic molecular beam (SMB) inlet mode. Crystals of the 18O-enriched salts were grown and the detailed desorption steps of the various gaseous products released during dehydration and decomposition of these compounds were recorded. The desorption patterns confirmed the known characteristic stepwise dehydration of these salts, where regardless of the crystalline structure and composition, in all the salts (excluding the Li and Ca sulfates) a major group of n - 1 loosely bounded water of crystallization molecules (out of total of n molecules in the fully hydrated form) are released at adjacent temperatures in a typical low temperature range (<200 C), while the last, most strongly bounded water molecule, consistently desorbs at relatively higher temperatures (240 < T < 440 C). Interestingly, it is established that the oxygen isotopic exchange occurs exclusively between that latter, most strongly bound water molecule, and the salt anion. Remarkably, the results point out that the exchange process is mostly of solid-solid nature. Finally, the results point out that the probability of the isotopic exchange increases with the increment in the desorption temperature of the last dehydration step, i.e. with the bond strength in the monohydrate, between the last water molecule of crystallization and the cation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-833
Number of pages13
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • Isotopic exchange
  • Sulfate hydrate
  • Temperature programmed desorption
  • Water of crystallization

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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