Organic adlayers can significantly alter the interactions of environmentally relevant surfaces with their surroundings. We present the first second harmonic and broadband sum frequency generation (SHG and BBSFG) study that illustrates how organic surface functional groups can control the mobility of the priority pollutant chromium(VI) in soil: Cr(VI) binds to ester- and acid-functionalized surfaces but not to alkane-functionalized surfaces. The implications with respect to toxic metal transport across organic adlayers at liquid-solid interfaces are that aqueous Cr(VI) can be retained by polar groups common in biopolymers but not by hydrophobic groups common in surfactants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry