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NUANCE: Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center

NUANCE Research Helps Fight Climate Change!

NUANCE Director Vinayak Dravid and Xiaobing Hu, PhD, Facility Manager of NUANCE's Electron Probe Instrumentation Center have recently published research that helps to better understand defects in calcium carbonate by studying nacre, a tough representative composite material mainly made of aragonite — a natural crystal form of calcium carbonate. This research will be helpful not just to the materials science community, but also to researchers who investigate ways to slow climate change, and also those who study plate tectonics.

Recent work from a team that included NUANCE staff as well as their counterparts at the Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMR CAS), provides insight into the formation of defects in calcium carbonate. By learning how calcium carbonate behaves and the properties of its defects, researchers could develop more effective strategies to design synthetic aragonite with better mechanical performance.

“Understanding what calcium carbonate looks like and how it behaves at the atomic scale is helpful to understand how carbon dioxide sequestration will be stable in thousands of years,” Dravid said. “The defects can mess up the material, so we need to be watchful to see how defects in calcium carbonate would behave in the context of climate change in the future.”

You can read more on this cool research here as well as the full published paper in the PNAS online journal.

NUANCE Director Vinayak P Dravid with Xiaobing Hu, EPIC Facility manager examining samplesNUANCE Director Vinayak P Dravid with Xiaobing Hu, EPIC Facility manager examining samples