Chemistry Seminar: Dr Raffaella Demichelis
Dr Raffaella Demichelis
Faculty of Science and Engineering
School of Molecular and Life Sciences
Chemical reactions and physical processes occurring at the interface between minerals and fluids are naturally able to address a number of challenges that are currently beyond our technological limits.
A first example is the synthesis of mineral hard tissues in living organisms, including humans, with biomolecules achieving a nearly perfect control on their shape, size, texture, crystal structure, and composition. A second example is the synthesis of organic molecules via sequestration of carbon dioxide observed in hydrothermal vents and on extra-terrestrial environments, where minerals are believed to act as catalysts.
Despite being relatively well known at a macroscopic level, little or nothing is known about the chemistry that gives rise to these phenomena. Understanding these processes at a molecular level would be a key to learn how to mimic them.
This presentation will show recent work undertaken in my group, where ab initio, semi-empirical and classical computational methods are used to investigate the fundamental chemistry and physics of these complex systems.