Atomic layer deposition (ALD) research by Robert Grubbs (Electro, Optical, and Nanostructures Department) and colleagues at Los Alamos was featured as the July 2012 cover article of the European Physical Journal Plus.

The article, “High Pressure and High Temperature Neutron Reflectometry Cell for Solid-Fluid Interface Studies,” describes the design and use of a neutron reflectometry cell to observe the surface structure of Robert’s ALD-grown calcium carbonate thin films, under high pres­sure and at high temperatures, that mimics the geological conditions deep inside the Earth. Neutron reflectometry was used to probe the surface structure of the carbonate films while they were exposed to CO2 under high pressure and temperature.

This research was motivat­ed by the lack of understanding of the effect of mineral surfaces on the flow of supercritical CO2. This understanding helps predict the ability for certain mineral strata to sequester carbon and for deep-well oil extraction.

Read the abstract in the European Physical Journal Plus.