Jean-François Boily


2008 Professor, Umeå University, Sweden
2004 Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA
2000 Post-doc. ETH-Zürich, Switzerland
1999 PhD Umeå University, Sweden
1996 MSc McGill University, Canada
1994 BSc McGill University, Canada
(Extended Bio here)

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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, 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.  I study phenomena as a fundamental as hydrogen bonding of water on mineral surfaces, to processes as intricate as ice nucleation/growth and photoelectrochemical water splitting.

Our approach is multidisciplinary, and we routinely blend experiment with theory. Main experimental approaches include vibration (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 then packaged into thermodynamic/kinetic models that can be used to predict atmospheric and geochemical processes.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Water condensation and freezing on minerals (Merve Yeşilbaş, Ph.D.)
  • Interfacial chemistry of clay minerals (Jerry Lindholm, Ph.D)
  • Organoclay nanocomposites (Kim Junhyung, postdoc)
  • 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)
  • Isotopic Fractionation of CO2 in minerals (Dmitry Shevela, Research Engineer)

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


Complete list of publications (1995-present)

Publications registered in DIVA (2008-present)