Jean-François Boily

News    Research     Projects     Publications     Contact 

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

Recent News

  • October 2022: Angelo Sebaaly (PhD student) and Sébastien LeCrom (postdoc) join the lab!
  • July-September 2022: On sabbatical at McGill. Learning aerosol modeling with Andi Zuend.
  • June 2022: GCA paper on rhodochrosite oxidation now out!
  • June 2022: CNRS (France) funds a 5-year project on coupled water flow and chemical reactivity with Khalil Hanna,  École nationale supérieure de chimie de Rennes (ENSCR))!
  • May-October 2022: PhD student Tao Luo (Rennes) joins us for an extended stay! 
  • January 2022: Microplastics paper out
  • January 2022:  Antiflammatory and antibiotics drugs transport paper out in ES&T
  • November 2021: 10 Mkr for a new XPS! Co-funded by The Kempe Foundation and Umeå University! 
  • November 2021: New Langmuir paper on silicates & organics on minerals


    • 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 chiefly focused on  geochemical 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. Reaction mechanisms are often packaged into thermodynamic/kinetic models that can be used to predict atmospheric and geochemical processes.



The Swedish Research Council is currently supporting out project “Rust in Ice” (2021-2024)


We are also still very active in water film research from our previous Swedish Research Council  project “Chemistry Within the Confines of Water Films”  (2017-2020)

Some projects under way:

        • Photocatalytic and mineralogical transformation within thin water films (Tan Luong, Ph.D. student)
        • Fate of antibiotics in nature with Khalil Hanna, Funded by CNRS until 2027
        • Mn-carbonate and oxide electrochemistry (Lorenden Hysenaj, Erasmus Plus exchange Ph.D. Student)
        • Atmospheric ice nucleation (in collaboration with Allan Bertram, University of British Columbia)

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).  Scientific Foresight Analyst at L’Oréal (Clichy, 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 Assistant Professor at Umeå University



Contact & Delivery Address

Jean-François Boily
Department of Chemistry
Linnaeusv. 6
Umeå University
SE-901 87 Umeå