Near-field optical examination of potassium n-Butyl xanthate/halcopyrite flotation products

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



The present study introduces scattering-type scanning near-field infrared optical nanospectroscopy (s-SNIM) as a valuable and well-suited tool for spectrally fingerprinting n-butyl xanthate (KBX) molecules adsorbed to chalcopyrite (CCP) sample surfaces. The collector KBX is well known to float CCP and is used in beneficiation. We thus identified KBX reaction products both by IR optical far- and near-field techniques, applying attenuated total internal reflection Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR) in comparison to s-SNIM, respectively. The major KBX band around 880 cm−1 was probed in s-SNIM using both the tunable free-electron laser FELBE at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf facility, Germany, and table-top CO2 laser illumination. We then were able to monitor the KBX agglomeration in patches <500 nm in diameter at the CCP surface, as well as nanospectroscopically identify the presence of KBX reaction products down to the 10−4 M concentration.


Original languageEnglish
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2018

External IDs

ORCID /0000-0002-2484-4158/work/158768081



  • Chalcopyrite, Fingerprint region, Flotation, IR spectroscopy, Near-field nanoscopy, Potassium n-butyl xanthate, Scanning probe microscopy, Ultra-low concentration