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Dynamics of Micropollutant Adsorption to Polystyrene Surfaces Probed by Angle-Resolved Second Harmonic Scattering


Angle-resolved second harmonic scattering is used to probe the adsorption dynamics of aqueous cationic and anionic dye molecules onto polystyrene surfaces. The adsorptions of malachite green to negatively charged polystyrene and naphthol yellow S to positively charged polystyrene are both highly favorable, with Î"GAds values of -10.9 ± 0.2 and -10.27 ± 0.09 kcal/mol, respectively. A competitive displacement methodology was employed to obtain values for the adsorption free energies of various smaller neutral organic molecules, including the important micropollutant ascorbic acid, caffeine, and pentoxifylline. For charged adsorbers, electrostatic interactions appear to significantly contribute to adsorption behavior. However, electrostatic repulsion does not necessarily deter the adsorption of molecules with large uncharged moieties (e.g., surfactants). In these cases, the mechanism of adsorption is dominated by van der Waals interactions, with the surface charge playing a relatively minor role.

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