Affinity distribution functions in multicomponent heterogeneous adsorption. Analytical inversion of isotherms to obtain affinity spectra
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An analytical approach for the interpretation of multicomponent heterogeneous adsorption or complexation isotherms in terms of multidimensional affinity spectra is presented. Fourier transform, applied to analyze the corresponding integral equation, leads to an inversion formula which allows the computation of the multicomponent affinity spectrum underlying a given competitive isotherm. Although a different mathematical methodology is used, this procedure can be seen as the extension to multicomponent systems of the classical Sips’s work devoted to monocomponent systems. Furthermore, a methodology which yields analytical expressions for the main statistical properties (mean free energies of binding and covariance matrix) of multidimensional affinity spectra is reported. Thus, the level of binding correlation between the different components can be quantified. It has to be highlighted that the reported methodology does not require the knowledge of the affinity spectrum to calculate the means, variances, and covariance of the binding energies of the different components. Nonideal competitive consistent adsorption isotherm, widely used in metal/proton competitive complexation to environmental macromolecules, and Frumkin competitive isotherms are selected to illustrate the application of the reported results. Explicit analytical expressions for the affinity spectrum as well as for the matrix correlation are obtained for the NICCA case. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.