Tan Luong


2019 –            Ph.D. candidate, Umeå University, Sweden

2018                M.Sc., Chemistry (1 year), Umeå University, Sweden

2017                B.Sc., Chemistry (Honors) VNUHCM-University of Science, Viet Nam




PhD project (main supervisor: Jean-François Boily):

Mineral particles in contact with moist air host nanometer- to micrometer-thick water layers. These films mediate several important (photo)chemical reactions in Earth’s atmosphere and water-unsaturated terrestrial environments (e.g.,desert, drying soils, etc.). However, known reaction pathways in liquid water are not necessarily applicable to water films because of the contrasting solvation environments they host. These differences can be manifested by, for example, contrasting water densities and hydration structures, gas exchange and dissolution rates, and ion diffusion.


The aim of my Ph.D. thesis is to explore mineral dissolution, nucleation, and growth as well as photodissociation of organics within the confines of water films, and how these phenomena relate to exchanges of atmospheric gases. My work will specifically reveal changes driven by oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide as the three leading reactive atmospheric gases in nature. To reach the goals of this work, I chose following mineral-gas and -organic systems to study:

  • Rhodochrosite (MnCO3) and its oxidation transformation to Mn oxides
  • Periclase (MgO) hydroxylation into brucite (Mg(OH)2) and carbonation into various hydrous magnesium carbonate (MgCO3.xH2O)
  • Photodissociation of organics (g., oxalate) binding on TiO2, Fe2O3

I am studying these transformations in real time by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, alongside (in situ) X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), as well as Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy.


1. Cheng W, Lindholm J, Holmboe M., Luong NT, Shchukarev A, Ilton ES, Hanna K., Boily J.-F. ‡ 2021. Nanoscale hydration in layered manganese oxides. Langmuir37, 2, 666–674



Swedish Research Council (VR 2018- and  2021 to J-F. Boily)

JC Kempe Memorial Scholarship Foundation (2021, PI=Ngoc Tan Luong): “Photo-involved reactions within mineral-bound thin water films: A Molecular Perspective” 14, 000 SEK