Resources for Science, History, and Industry
Clays and clay minerals are the most
abundant reactive solids on the Earth's surface.
Understanding clays minerals involves the detailed
crystal-chemical characterization of their structure,
particularly as they are found associated in near surface
weathering, diagenetic, and hydrothermal geologic
environments. These minerals often interact with biological
systems, which then allow them to proxy the record
of environmental change throughout Earth history and
perhaps in extraterrestrial environments.
Clays and clay minerals are also nature's most common nano-material. The study of both natural and synthetic nano-composites made up of clays and organics offers great promise for the discovery of new materials for use in medical, pharmaceutical, and material industries. Knowledge of clays is essential for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon energy, particularly in terms of benefiting the environment.
The research carried out in this group involves the study of these fine grain particles using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Fourier transform and Raman spectroscopy, radiogenic, cosmogenic, and stable isotopes, chemical and thermal analyses, and X-ray and electron diffraction.
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