Gan Zhang

Gan Zhang

I am a chemist from China. I joined the Prof. Juan Manuel García Ruiz’s group in 2010 when I started the master and PhD study in Crystallization and Crystallography, and received the PhD title in 2015. My research in the group towards the polymorphic and morphological control of the crystallization of calcium carbonate as well as the hydrate forms in alkaline silica-rich media, to explore the morphogenetic mechanism of silica biomorphs. My work is strongly…

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Julian Opel

Julian Opel

University of Konstanz, started in 2015. Julian Opel is a German PhD student at the University of Konstanz (Germany) in the group of Prof. Helmut Cölfen. He got his M. Sc. in chemistry in 2015. In his Master thesis, he investigated new strategies to functionalize silica-biomorphs with various functional groups, organic molecules and inorganic nano particles to lern more about the inner structure of biomorphs and to turn these fascinating structures into a functional material….

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Manolis Giampouras

Manolis Giampouras

University of Granada, started 2015. Manolis Giampouras is a Greek PhD student at the University of Granada (Spain). He got his BSc degree in Geology and Geo-environment at the University of Athens (Greece), where he elaborated on mineral texture analysis of a hydrothermal ore deposit (Rhodope, NE Greece). He holds an MSc degree from the University of Newcastle (UK) focused on applied geology, geochemistry and environmental sciences. For his MSc thesis, he specialized in biogeochemical processes…

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Jeannette Manzi

Jeannette Manzi

We would like to congratulate Jeannette Manzi on the achievement of her PhD thesis entitled “Mapping pH in self-assembled inorganic structures by fluorescence microscopy” (supervised by Prof. Marco Montalti and Prof. Aldo Roda), which has been excellently defended on the 9th of May 2018 at department of Industrial Chemistry “Toso Montanari” of Bologna. Her outstanding work has received the marks of 1) excellent for the originality and the arguments treated; and 2) really good for…

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Kevin Hagmann

Kevin Hagmann

University of Granada, started 2017. Kevin Hagmann is a German PhD student at the CSIC-University of Granada. He holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Chemistry which he obtained at the University of Regensburg, Germany. In his Bachelor research he focused on reaction pathways of pentaphosphaferrocences in organometallic chemistry as well as the functionalization of nanoparticles for organic synthesis. For his Masters degree he specialized in physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry. In his Master thesis…

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Local pH oscillations witness autocatalytic self-organization of biomorphic nanostructures

Local pH oscillations witness autocatalytic self-organization of biomorphic nanostructures

M. Montalti, G. Zhang, D. Genovese, J. Morales, M. Kellermeier & J.M. García-Ruiz, Nat Commun. 2017 Feb 16;8:14427. Download paper. Bottom-up self-assembly of simple molecular compounds is a prime pathway to complex materials with interesting structures and functions. Coupled reaction systems are known to spontaneously produce highly ordered patterns, so far observed in soft matter. Here we show that similar phenomena can occur during silica-carbonate crystallization, the emerging order being preserved. The resulting materials, called…

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Growth behaviour of silica/carbonate nanocrystalline composites of calcite and aragonite

Growth behaviour of silica/carbonate nanocrystalline composites of calcite and aragonite

Gan Zhang, Juan Morales and Juan Manuel García-Ruiz, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, 5, 1658. Download paper. The precipitation of barium and strontium carbonate in alkaline silica gels or silica solutions produces nanocrystalline self-assembled composite materials displaying biomimetic shapes and textures. We have crystallized concomitantly in time and space two anhydrous polymorphs of calcium carbonate, under similar conditions at different temperatures. The orthorhombic phase aragonite produces nanocrystalline aggregates exhibiting non-crystallographic morphologies and complex textures characteristic…

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Simultaneous growth of biomorphic aragonite and elongated calcite

Simultaneous growth of biomorphic aragonite and elongated calcite

The micrographs are extracted from images sequence of a time-lapse video of the simultaneous growth of biomorphic aragonite in elongated calcite in alkaline silica gel. The video was recorded by an optical microscope (Nikon AZ100) with Nikon AZ-Plan Apo 4x objective lens and Nikon digital sight DS-Fi1 camera. The images were captured at constant time intervals (30 minutes) by using NIS-Elements BR, and acquired images sequences were converted to video by ImageJ. The crystallization of…

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Three study cases of growth morphology in minerals: Halite, calcite and gypsum

Three study cases of growth morphology in minerals: Halite, calcite and gypsum

Aquilano, D.; Otálora, F.; Pastero, L.; García-Ruiz, J. M., Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials 2016, 62 (2), 227-251. Download paper. Beyond fundamental aspects of crystal growth and morphology, the growth of minerals is a challenging subject because in most cases we face a problem with unknown growth conditions. Actually, in the field of geological studies, we have to decipher the growth conditions of a crystal using the information contained in the very…

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