Observing mineral surfaces with AFM

Calcite (red) growing on a dolomite (green) surface (false colour)

Since my early days in the scientific community, one of my main interests has been to observe the surfaces of minerals using an atomic force microscope. Thanks to this method we have been able to observe the atomic structure of the surface of dolomite (Pina et al., 2010), kyanite (Pimentel et al., 2015) and halite (Agmon et al., 2018), as well as other inorganic (graphene, Vilhena et al., 2016) and organic crystals (Alvarez-Asencio et al., 2017; Nita et al., 2014; Pimentel et al., 2016). We have also studied the surface reactivity of dolomite and kutnohorite after contact with aqueous solutions supersaturated in different mineral phases, such as calcite (Pimentel et al., 2013), otavite, sphaerocobaltite (Pimentel et al., 2018) and zabuyelite (Pimentel et al., 2020). We have also used this technique to study the surfaces of leaves and petals, in particular the rose petal (Almonte et al., 2021).

References related to this project:

Carlos Pimentel
Carlos Pimentel
Assistant professor