Noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) has been used to investigate the morphological changes of a freshly cleaved (001) surface of barium sulfate (barite) etched with an aqueous solution of 0.1 M HCl at room temperature. Shallow triangular etch pits with a height of 3.6 Å were developed in atomically flat (001) terraces. The etching of the surface was found to proceed in a layer-by-layer dissolution process. Because the crystal structure of barite exhibits a two-fold screw axis parallel to the c axis, 'alternating' etch pits were formed, with any two consecutive etch pits pointing opposite to each other. These etch pits became deeper and more elongated along the b axis with time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry
- Atomic force microscopy
- Barium sulfate
- Etch pit