T11-S3. Applications of Nanomineralogy in the understanding of high-temperature systems

Fernando Gervilla (gervilla@ugr.es)
José María González Jiménez (jmgonzj@ugr.es)

In nature, minerals can occur as nanofilms, nanorods or nanoparticles when having one, two or three dimensions reduced to the nanoscale, respectively. They can occur as mineral nanoparticles when they also exist in larger (micrometer-scale) sizes, and as nanominerals when they only exist within this size range. Since last decade, the advent of a new generation of instruments for mineral analysis such as the focussed ion beam-field emission scanning electron microscopy techniques (FIB-FE-SEM) now allows the sampling and characterization of nanoparticles and nanominerals under ever increasing powerful transmission electron microscope (TEM). Additional study of colloids in nature can be also achieved by means of LA-ICP-MS, EMPA, SIMS and nano-SIMS and synchrotron XRF/XAS techniques. These high-resolution analytical methods are providing unprecedented information revealing an ever-increasing number of new micro and nanoscale phases, highliting the critical relationship that exists between mineral particle size and physico-chemical properties. Significant variations can account in structural, thermodynamic and catalytic properties when one or more dimensions of minerals are reduced to the nanoscale, i.e., below one micron, although novel material properties commonly arise between 1 and 100 nm. In this thematic session we seek recent developments in mineralogy and geochemistry of micro and nanoscale processes from a broad spectrum of high-temperature processes in order to identify the role that nanoparticles and nanominerals have as active agents of element transport. Contributions of all disciplines addressing nanogeoscience research, including the study of natural samples and experiments within the ample range of hydrothermal and magmatic processes, with particular emphasis on the role of ore systems as nanoparticle factories are welcome.