J. Phys. IV France
Volume 104, March 2003
Page(s) 443 - 446

J. Phys. IV France
104 (2003) 443
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20030119

Fluorescence X-ray microscopy on hydrated tributyltin-clay mineral suspensions

U. Neuhäusler1, C. Schmidt2, M. Hoch3 and J. Susini1

1  X-Ray Microscopy Beamline ID21, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, ESRF, BP. 220, 38043 Grenoble cedex, France
2  Institut für Röntgenphysik, Georg-August-Universiät, Geiststrasse 11, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
3  Lehrstuhl für Angewandte Geologie, Schlossgarten 5, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, 91054 Erlangen, Germany

Using the scanning transmission X-ray microscope at ID21 beamline of the ESRF in fluorescence mode, we mapped tin at a bulk concentration of 1000  $\mu$g(Sn)/ml within hydrated tributyltin (TBT)-clay mineral (Kaolinite) dispersion with sub-300 nm spatial resolution. Using the L absorption edges of tin at 3929, 4156 and 4465 eV fluorescence radiation was excited in tin atoms with incident photon energies of 4 and 4.5 keV. When using 4 keV radiation, only tin fluorescence is excited. For 4.5 keV X rays, both the fluorescence of tin and calcium (which is present in the solid phase) can be measured. Methodologically, we were interested in assessing and proving the possibilities and limitations of fluorescence mapping using the L absorption edges of tin, where the fluorescence yield is significantly lower compared to other elements with their K edges in the same energy range. Scientifically, organotin-clay mineral interactions are of environmental concern because this factor influences significantly the distribution of toxic TBT in the aquatic System. On one hand, the half-life of TBT deposited to the sediment phase increases, and consequently the time of its bioavailability. On the other hand, the adsorption process is reversible, which means that contaminated sediments can act as a source of pollution. The adsorption and desorption effects can be studied directly with high spatial resolution and brought into connection to the surface properties of the clay mineral under study as well as to other experimental parameters, like pH or salinity.

© EDP Sciences 2003