Interfacial water structure is a most important parameter that influences the collector adsorption by salt minerals such as borax, potash and trona. According to previous studies, salts can be classified as water structure makers and water structure breakers. Water structure making and breaking properties of salt minerals in their saturated brine solutions are essential to explain their flotation behavior. In this work, water Structure makin-breaking studies in Solutions of carbonate and bicarbonate salts (Na2CO3, K2CO3, NaHCO3 and NH4HCO3) in 4 wt% D2O in H2O mixtures have been performed by FTIR analysis of the OD stretching band. This method reveals a microscopic picture of the water structure makin-/breakinL, character of the salts in terms of the hydrogen bonding between the water molecules in solution. The results from the vibrational spectroscopic Studies demonstrate that carbonate salts (Na2CO3, K2CO3) act as strong structure makers, whereas bicarbonate salts (NaHCO3 and NH4HCO3) act as weak structure makers. In addition, the changes in the OD band parameters of carbonate and bicarbonate salt solutions are in agreement with the viscosity characteristics of their solutions. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.