[photo: Vacancy and diffusion pathways in calcite structure]

Geochemistry, mineralogy, and materials science specializing in applications of chemical kinetics, mineral equilibria, molecular spectroscopy, and molecular simulation to complex multicomponent and multiphase systems

Research Interests

  • Molecular simulation of environmental materials and processes
  • Characterization and spectroscopy of surfaces and interfaces
  • Zeolites and clay minerals
  • NMR, XPS, and vibrational spectroscopies
  • Adsorption of chemical species on soil minerals
  • Hydrolysis kinetics of minerals
  • Dissolution mechanisms of minerals
  • Advanced materials for water treatment
  • Novel battery materials
  • Gas hydrates and clathrates
  • Geochemical reaction path modeling
  • Materials for art preservation
  • Solubility of gases in fluids
  • Cation diffusion in silicate minerals
  • Shock metamorphism of silicate minerals

Research Highlights in the Press

Technology Review (1991), Art in America (1997), BBC Radio (1997), Discover (1997), Science News (1997), DEIXIS (2005), Nature Materials (2008), Sandia LDRD (2009), Chemical & Engineering News (2010), Sandia Reasearch (2013), Sandia Lab News (2014), Sandia News Release (2014).

Special Issue and Book Covers

Science News Cover
Reviews in
Mineralogy & Geochemistry Cover
MRS Bulletin Cover
Journal of Materials Chemistry
Inside Cover
Journal of Physical Chemistry A


Research Funding

Research funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Environmental Molecular Science Institute, Laboratory Directed Research and Development of Sandia National Laboratories, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Research Images [click to enlarge]

Molecular model of hydrotalcite with chloride interlayer ions
Vertical hypervelocity impact of a steel ball into a one-foot square block of Coconino sandstone
Impact crater at Meteor Crater, Arizona, USA
Calculated electrostatic potential for montmorillonite indicating differences between basal and edge surfaces
Burning snowball of methane hydrate
Molecular model of methane hydrate structure
Molecular simulation of bubble of brine on clay surface surrounded by supercritical CO2