The speciation of aqueous zinc(II) bromide solutions to 500 °C and 900 MPa determined using Raman spectroscopy


A Raman spectral study was carried out on 3 solutions of varying concentration and bromide/zinc ratios. Spectra were collected at 11 different temperature-pressure conditions ranging from ambient to 500 °C-0.9 GPa. Raman band assignments for zinc(II) bromide species reported in previous studies were used to determine the relative concentrations of ZnBr42-, ZnBr3-, ZnBr2, and ZnBr+ species at various temperatures and pressures. Our results are in close agreement with X-ray absorption spectroscopic (XAS) data, and confirm that the tetrabromo zinc(II) complex, ZnBr42-, is the predominant species up to 500 °C in solutions having high Zn concentrations (1 m) and high bromide/zinc molar ratios ([Br]/[Zn] = 8). In agreement with previous solubility and Raman spectroscopic experiments, our measurements indicate that species with a lower number of halide ligands and charge are favored with increasing temperature in dilute solutions, and solutions with low bromide/zinc ratios ([Br]/[Zn] < 2.5). The Raman technique provides an independent experimental means of evaluating the quality of XAS analyses of data obtained from high temperature disordered systems. The combination of these two techniques provides complementary data on speciation and the structure of zinc(II) bromide complexes. The preponderance of the ZnBr42- species in highly saline brines at high temperature is consistent with the predominance of ZnCl42- in chloride-rich brines reported in previous XAS studies. Knowledge of Zn complexing in metal-rich highly saline brines is important for numerical models of ore deposition in high temperature systems such as skarns and porphyry-type deposits.


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Document Type




Diamond anvil cell, High pressure, Hydrothermal, Raman spectroscopy, Structure of solutions, Zinc(II) bromide complexes

Publication Date


Journal Title

Chemical Geology