University of Manchester

Feasibility test to study mineral growth under pore confinement

Jose R. A. Godinho
Scanning Completed

Scientific Case

Crystallisation processes of great environmental, technological and biological importance take place in restricted volumes (pores) rather than in bulk solution where they are traditionally studied. Striking examples include the formation of biominerals, the templating of nanostructures and salt weathering of geological materials. However, due to experimental difficulties of studying the nucleation and growth of crystals inside a material there is limited understanding of the effect of pore confinement on crystallisation. Previous 2-D and ex-situ work done by the materials chemistry group in Leeds has revealed important confinement effects over the micron to nano length scales, (i) control the polymorph of the mineral by stabilizing metastable phases, (ii) control crystal orientation, (iii) gain control over single crystal/ polycrystalline structures. Having established the importance of confinement on crystallisation we now aim to identify the spatial and time dependent mechanisms that govern these effects using 3D and 4D computed tomography.
materials chemistry

Experiment Design

Crystals are between 20-50 microns large
Scanners and Rigs
Xradia VersaXCT
Not Required

Sample & Safety

Porous glass filled with crystals. Samples are 2-3 mm diameter

Scan Records

Project Report