Huifang Xu



Huifang Xu
Mineral Science, Nano-geoscience, and Electron Microscopy
(608) 265-5887
Office: A352 Weeks Hall

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My research focuses on interdisciplinary study of (1) crystal chemistry of clays, rock-forming minerals, and nano-crystals; (2) role of nanopore in controlling geochemical reactions; (3) roles of microbes in controlling mineral shape, structure, and compositions; (4) mineral interface-induced carbonate mineralization: a fundamental process relevant to carbon sequestration; (5) Formation mechanism of banded iron formation (BIF) and dolomite / dolomitization; and (6) functional minerals for environment clean up and renewable energy applications.

One of our new discoveries is that geochemical reactions inside nano-pores and nanotubes (confined solution) are greatly different from those in conventional environments (un-confined solution). The study will provide a linkage, currently missing, between laboratory measurements (in unconfined solution) and real environmental system in the critical zone (in confined pore solution).


The courses I teach are Gems: the Science Behind the Sparkle, X-ray and Electron Diffractions of Minerals and Materials, Crystal Chemistry, and seminars on Mineralogy and Nanobiogeoscience. I also co-teach Earth Materials (Mineralogy + Petrology).