This week I had the pleasure to attend the 2021 Nordic Clay Meeting symposium hosted by the University of Latvia in Riga. Clay minerals, the products of near-surface chemical weathering of silicates, can serve as truly remarkable materials! These lamellar aluminosilicate structures can adsorb and intercalate inorganic and organic cationic species, acting as highly tunable mineral ‘sponges’. It was extremely engaging to listen about how natural and synthetic clays, in the past used mainly as ceramic materials, can comprise food sensors, highly specialized adsorbents, or nanocomposites with magnetic and optical properties.
You could also see my poster at this meeting! Our work tried to challenge the understanding of the face-specific adsorption of organic molecules on clays, with edge sites and basal planes having completely different bonding properties. If you want to know whether the negatively charged basal planes of clays could sorb negatively charged, soluble anionic species, check out my poster below!