My heart lies in Materials Chemistry, but I am becoming more interested in understanding how materials are formed. With this I am keen on exploring the chemical synthesis of geological (mineralogical) samples and using information on the conditions required in the laboratory to support inferences from the field. The laboratory can’t replicate millions or billions of years of heat or pressure but we can start to think about what happens and what intermediates are formed. Who knows we might happen on other materials in this quest that are useful in applications – a room temperature superconductor anyone? My passion in chemical synthesis is actually watching the synthetic process, watching the evolution of components as reagents react to form products, this is undertaken using X-ray and neutron powder diffraction instruments at the Australian Synchrotron and at ANSTO. I am also keen on using neutron imaging to non-destructively probe geological samples.
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