Jean-François Boily


2008-present     Professor, Umeå University, Sweden
2004-2008          Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
2000-2004          Post-doc ETH-Zürich, Switzerland
1999                      Ph.D. Umeå University, Sweden
1997                      M.Sc. McGill University, Canada
1994                      B.Sc. McGill University, Canada
(Extended Bio here)

Research Gate Link

Google Scholar Link


Reactions at mineral surfaces have shaped Earth’s ever-changing environments throughout geological times. They are of central interest for Atmospheric Chemistry, Biogeochemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Technology, as well as in the study of Space Chemistry.

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.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Photocatalytic and mineralogical transformation within thin water films (Tan Luong, Ph.D. student)
  • Interfacial chemistry of clay minerals (Jerry Lindholm, Ph.D. student)
  • Isotopic Fractionation of CO2 in minerals (Dmitry Shevela, Research Engineer). See Umeå Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory here!
  • Water condensation in unsaturated organic-mineral assemblages (under the User program of the Environmental Sciences Laboratory, PNNL)
  • Catalytic hotspots at mineral surfaces: Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy (Veton Haziri, Erasmus Plus exchange Ph.D. Student)
  • Atmospheric ice nucleation (Allan Bertram, University of British Columbia)

A portion of these projects is currently funded by the Swedish Research Council.


Please visit the Umeå Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory for more information on our research and services!

Links to Some Previous Group Members

Dr. Wenting Feng (postdoc 2012-2014). Researcher at  Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Dr. Philipp Kozin, (Ph.D. 2014, Postdoc at University of Vienna). Researcher Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, France.

Dr. Masakazu Kanematsu (Postdoc from LBNL, 2014) Environmental Scientist at Anchor QEA, Portland, OR)

Dr Marie Lucas, (Postdoc, 20142016)

Dr. Kenichi Shimizu (postdoc 2009-2014). R&D at Northvolt

Dr. Xiaowei Song (Ph.D. 2013; Postdoc at Fritz-Haber Institute, Max-Planck). Material and Product Developer at IKEA

Dr. Julie Tolu (postdoc 2012-2015). Researcher at EAWAG

Dr. Mushel Uddin Munshi (M.Sc. 2014) Ph.D. at Radboud University, 2019.

Dr, Merve Yeşilbaş (Ph.D. 2018). Now VR and NASA postdoc at SETI


Complete list of publications (1995-present)

Publications registered in DIVA (2008-present)