Mineralogy, Materials science, Biomineralization, Electron microscopy
A major factor controlling the cycling of materials on the earth surface is the reaction between minerals and water. The reaction becomes more complicated because of organic matter originated from biological activities. The interaction of these three substances occurs at local spaces such as mineral surfaces, pores, and grain boundaries, where minerals play important roles as catalysts, substrates, and the supply and sorption of elements. We are studying the local structure, composition, and properties of minerals using advanced microanalyses, mainly electron microscopy, to elucidate the elementary reactions in the local spaces. Current topics of our research are (1) investigation of organic-inorganic interactions in biomineralization, (2) elucidation of radioactive materials caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident using mineralogical techniques. We are also analyzing various terrestrial and planetary materials using advanced electron microscopy techniques.