Bent M. Babel
Division of Processing

Phone: +49 351 260 - 4481

Studying Particle Surfaces Using Atomic Force Microscopy

Key to a successful flotation separation is to selectively hydrophobize the minerals of interest. In order to do so, it is necessary to understand the mineral surface characteristics as well as the influence of reagents on interaction forces within the flotation cell.

Micro particle surface image
Micro particle surface image

The Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) enables researchers in the Processing Division to investigate surface characteristics on a micro and nano scale, which is increasingly important for minerals that are finely distributed within the ore.

In addition, AFM helps to enhance existing processing models by analyzing micro processes that remain largely unexplored, for example particle-bubble interactions.

HIF and the TU Bergakademie Freiberg pursue a new approach that combines AFM and Raman Spectroscopy. It will allow researchers to simultaneously determine both chemical and mineralogical information at any point of the sample as well as local interaction forces. Such analyses can currently only be done to a limited extent.

Selected Publications

  • Rudolph M.; Peuker, U. A.
    "Mapping Hydrophobicity combining AFM and Raman Spectroscopy", Minerals Engineering 66-68(2014), 181-190
    DOI-Link: 10.1016/j.mineng.2014.05.010