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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - DIVISION S-2—NOTES

Organic carbon at soil particle surfaces—evidence from x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and surface abrasion


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 66 No. 5, p. 1526-1530
    Received: July 9, 2001

    * Corresponding author(s): klaus.kaiser@uni-bayreuth.de
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  1. Wulf Amelunga,
  2. Klaus Kaiser *a,
  3. Gerd Kammerera and
  4. Gustav Sauerb
  1. a Institute of Soil Science and Soil Geography, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany
    b Institute of Physical Chemistry II, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany


This study aimed at investigating the potential of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for investigating soil organic matter at secondary soil particles. The XPS was applied to microaggregates of the A horizon of a Typic Haplustoll (<20-μm equivalent diameter, >53-μm maximum real diameter) and to the fine-earth fraction (<2 mm) of the Bs horizon of a Typic Haplorthod. Carbon and N, as well as Si (both samples), Ca (Haplustoll), and Al (Haplorthod) were detected. Removing the particle surface layer (<50 nm) by bombarding with Ar+ resulted in a strong reduction of the signals of C and N, while those attributed to inorganic components increased relatively. Consequently, in both soils, organic matter was concentrated at the surface of soil aggregates. We conclude that Ar+ sputtering followed by XPS analysis is a useful tool in identifying the accumulation of elements at the surfaces of soil particles.

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Copyright © 2002. Soil Science SocietyPublished in Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J.66:1526–1530.