PRISM/PCCM SEMINAR SERIES FALL 2020: Jean-François Boily, Umeå University, Sweden

Nov 11, 2020, 12:00 pm1:00 pm


Event Description

Title: Chemistry Within the Confines of Mineral-Supported Water Films

Abstract: Virtually all mineral particles present in moist air are covered by thin, nearly imperceptible, water films. These films can play tremendous roles in element cycling in nature, and can drive the formation of atmospheric clouds. They can even be key to the survival of microorganisms in arid environments. For this PRISM/PCCM webinar, I selected salient findings from our work of the past decade to explain how water films form and mediate chemical reactions at mineral surfaces. These will include molecular and thermodynamic insight on water binding and condensation, CO2 exchange in liquid and frozen films, as well as mineralogical transformations.

Bio: Professor Jean-François Boily leads the Molecular Geochemistry Group at Umeå University ( is external)). His research on mineral geochemistry connects the scales of molecules and nanoparticles, up to single macroscopic crystals. His work blends chemical synthesis, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, imaging, molecular simulations and thermodynamic modeling. He completed a B.Sc. in Earth Sciences and a M.Sc. in Geochemistry at McGill University in the mid 90’s. He thereafter pursued a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at Umeå University, then continued in 2000 as a postdoctoral fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In 2004, he became staff scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He the re-joined Umeå University as a Professor in 2008.

Seminars are held on select Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1pm, Eastern/New York time.