One of the most common groups of minerals on earth is the iron oxides, found in soils, rusting iron, and the dust of Mars.
Due to their importance in the environment, iron oxide minerals have been widely studied, providing insight into their properties and reactivities. But when the size of minerals decreases to 1 to 10 nanometers (billionths of a meter), many of their properties change. Andrew Madden of Blacksburg, a Ph.D. student in geosciences at Virginia Tech, will report on the nanoscale properties of iron oxide at the 227th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, being held in Anaheim, Calif., March 28 through April 1, 2004.
"Geoscientists now recognize that there are small particles in our environment, but we dont know their properties at the nanoscale," says Madden. He is doing his experiments using hematite, the same iron oxide associated with Mars.
Susan Trulove | EurekAlert!
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