About Jean-François Boily
My research activities are largely focused on inorganic chemical reactions at mineral surfaces, and connect scales of molecules, single mineral particles, to single macroscopic crystals. Examples of interest include thin water and ice films, ice nucleation & growth, interfacial electrochemistry. Our approach is multidisciplinary, and we routinely blend experiment with theory. Main experimental approaches include vibrational (FTIR, Raman, Sum Frequency Generation) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Electrochemical methods include Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (SECM). Interpretations of laboratory observations are always assisted by molecular simulations (Molecular Dynamics, Density Functional Theory) of representative systems. Inorganic reaction mechanisms are often packaged into thermodynamic/kinetic models that can be used to predict atmospheric and geochemical processes.
Contributor Comms Chemistry
Ferrihydrite is a puzzling nanosized mineral with a 50-year-old history of debates over its structure, composition and formation. Here we directly identify populations of the reactive hydroxyl groups driving the high catalytic reactivity of this mineral in nature.