Waychunas Wins Clay Minerals Award
Source: Dan Hawkes
The American Clay Minerals Society has honored ESD’s Glenn Waychunas with the “Pioneer in Clay Science” award, to be bestowed at the Clay Minerals Society Annual Meeting at Lake Tahoe, this coming September 25–30. In addition to collecting his prize at the Meeting, Glenn will be giving a lecture on oxide mineral structure and interface chemistry, the scientific areas for which he won the award.
Glenn became interested in mineral structure and crystal chemistry while in graduate school at UCLA, where he did Mössbauer, optical spectroscopy, and x-ray diffraction on oxide solid solutions for his thesis. Arriving at Stanford’s Center for Materials Research in 1978 as staff scientist, he soon started doing some of the first mineralogical synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy at Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL), in collaboration with Gordon Brown. Later, this work involved arsenate uptake on ferrihydrite and other oxides, These early studies helped to inspire the development of mineral-water interface investigations at the Advanced Photon Source synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory, including some of the first surface x-ray scattering measurements of oxide interfaces with water present.
More recently, in cooperation with Ron Shen at the UC Berkeley Physics Department, Glenn has been using nonlinear optical measurements to help describe the hydroxyl and water part of the mineral-water interface. This work coincides with an interest in natural nanoparticles, the structure of which is often affected by interfacial interactions. Together with ESD’s Jill Banfield (a past winner of this award), Glenn helped form the Berkeley Nanogeoscience Center in 2005 to study nanoparticle structure, formation, aggregation, and transformations.
For his lecture, Glenn will discuss the evolution of our knowledge of the mineral-water interface, and how such studies connect to nanoparticle research. He will touch on specific problem areas, especially the nature of sorption complexes and surface water, and the structure of ferrihydrite.