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Geochemists explore a mineral's first step at ACS meeting

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April 06, 2017 Share This!

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SAN FRANCISCO — Geochemistry explores chemical reactions in the atmosphere, the oceans, the soil and deep underground. Researchers from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have organized a symposium that focuses on how minerals take the first step of formation — nucleation — at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in San Francisco.

Organized by PNNL researchers Benjamin Legg and Shawn Riechers, the event brings together experts to discuss experimental and computational work that presents novel structures, dynamics, or mechanisms of nucleation and phase transition in ice, carbonates, and other minerals. Several PNNL scientists will speak at the one-day event, including Christopher Mundy, Shawn Kathmann, Michel Sassi, and Gregory Schenter.

At PNNL, Legg uses atomic force microscopy, statistical mechanics, and thermodynamics to answer difficult questions about mineral nucleation, nanoparticle aggregation, and nanoparticle-environment interactions. Riechers studies mineral nucleation at the nanoscale, which provides a detailed understanding of simple surfaces and allows him to extrapolate results to more complex surfaces.

Titled Mineral Nucleation: Transient Intermediates & Phase Transitions, the symposium begins Thursday at 8 am.

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Tags: Fundamental Science, Chemistry, Nanoscience

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