Tatiana Rios Carvajal
Background and interest
Description of research in NanoHeal: ESR 3
Project title: Passivation and activation of inorganic calcite, chalk and fresh coccoliths
Objective: To determine the affinity of various organic functional groups at calcite surfaces with nanometer resolution.
Description: Techniques that are able to “see” at nanometer scale provide unprecedented information about the surfaces of minerals, their properties and their behaviour with time and changes in temperature, pressure and composition of the pore fluid. This project will investigate the presence of natural organic material in chalk, limestone and marble and its effect on Ostwald ripening, when small grains dissolve and large crystals grow. We will use natural polysaccharides and we will synthesize model organic compounds to explore precisely how they cause inhibition. We will investigate effects on pure, inorganically precipitated nanocalcite and on natural samples with the aim of being able to predict when dissolution and precipitation occurs, or does not occur. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) will provide surface composition and force mapping AFM, where tips are functionalised with molecules intended to model the organic compounds, will be used to determine the affinity of various functional groups for calcite surfaces where information pixels are about 40 nm. Experimental data will be compared to experiments in UCB, UIO and TH and interpreted with the aid of molecular modelling within the KU group and in UCB and ICL. Cooperation with partners from BOZ and TEP will provide input into specific challenges.
Expected results: Detailed high resolution data on where different functional groups attach on calcite surfaces.
Planned secondment(s): UCB, M18, 4 weeks, special AFM experiments, BOZ, M26, 2 weeks, private sector internship