Atomic force microscopy of atomic-scale ledges and etch pits formed during dissolution of quartz

A. J. Gratz, S. Manne, P. K. Hansma

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Abstract

The processes involved in the dissolution and growth of crystals are closely related. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) of faceted pits (called negative crystals) formed during quartz dissolution reveals subtle details of these underlying physical mechanisms for silicates. In imaging these surfaces, the AFM detected ledges <1 nanometer (nm) high that were spaced 10 to 90 nm apart. A dislocation pit, invisible to optical and scanning electron microscopy measurements and serving as a ledge source, was also imaged. These observations confirm the applicability of ledge-motion models to dissolution and growth of silicates; coupled with measurements ofdissolution rate on facets, these methods provide a powerful tool for probing mineral surface kinetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1346
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume251
Issue number4999
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

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