Opendata, web and dolomites


Silica and alumina nanophases – the building blocks for the ground under our feet.

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 NanoSiAl project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the NanoSiAl project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "NanoSiAl" about.

species    aluminosilicates    habitable    colloid    reactions    phases    methodology    molecular    mechanistic    regard    al    interface    complete    quantitative    validate    picture    solid    interactions    solution    life    weathering    nanoparticles    nanophases    nm    grow    atomic    electron    cell    colloidal    varying    nucleate    underlying    controls    lt    structural    specifying    geological    indication    alumina    combination    synchrotron    time    nano    si    silica    occurrence    aqueous    direct    techniques    undergo    transmission    scattering    hard    containing    earth    insufficient    lacking    objects    condensation    assembly    microscopy    resolution    utilising    tem    insights    building    sized    characterisation    play    liquid    climate    nanosial    unprecedented    hydrolysis    situ    water    types    points    kinetic    vacuum    rock    usual    complemented    original    global    destruction    length    blocks    form    artefacts    dissolved    near   

Project "NanoSiAl" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 14473

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Germany [DE]
 Project website
 Total cost 171˙460 €
 EC max contribution 171˙460 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2015
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-05-01   to  2019-10-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Alumina and silica nanophases play a crucial role in rock weathering and their formation and destruction controls Earth’s response to global climate change. The presence of various products of aqueous weathering of aluminosilicates points to a complex activity of water, and is considered as the geological indication for the occurrence of life-habitable conditions. In this regard, a more complete picture of the water-alumina-silica interactions would allow for better specifying the molecular-level conditions for early life. Upon weathering the original Al- and Si-containing phases are dissolved at the solid-water interface, undergo hydrolysis and condensation reactions and form new colloidal nanoparticles. However, quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the underlying processes that lead to the formation and types of Al and Si phases is still lacking, due to the insufficient in situ methodology providing structural information about the colloidal species in solution.

Therefore, the main objective of the NanoSiAl project is to develop, test and validate the methods for the direct in situ and real-time structural and kinetic characterisation of the alumina and silica colloid formation pathways at the length-scale of < 100 nm. I will achieve this by utilising state-of-the-art in situ liquid-cell transmission electron microscopy (L-C TEM) complemented with synchrotron-based scattering methods. This way I will be able to fully avoid the usual artefacts of sample varying and hard-vacuum conditions, because the L-C TEM and scattering methods allow for direct in situ characterisation of nano-sized objects in solution with a near-atomic-resolution. This combination of novel techniques will provide unprecedented insights on properties of the molecular building blocks for alumina and silica as they nucleate, grow and assembly with each other.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Tomasz M. Stawski, Helen M. Freeman, Alexander E. S. Van Driessche, Jörn Hövelmann, Rogier Besselink, Richard Wirth, Liane G. Benning
Particle-Mediated Nucleation Pathways Are Imprinted in the Internal Structure of Calcium Sulfate Single Crystals
published pages: 3714-3721, ISSN: 1528-7483, DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.9b00066
Crystal Growth & Design 19/7 2020-03-20
2017 Mercedes Ossorio, Tomasz Stawski, Juan Rodríguez-Blanco, Mike Sleutel, Juan García-Ruiz, Liane Benning, Alexander Van Driessche
Physicochemical and Additive Controls on the Multistep Precipitation Pathway of Gypsum
published pages: 140, ISSN: 2075-163X, DOI: 10.3390/min7080140
Minerals 7/8 2020-03-20
2019 Jörn Hövelmann, Tomasz M. Stawski, Rogier Besselink, Helen M. Freeman, Karen M. Dietmann, Sathish Mayanna, Brian R. Pauw, Liane G. Benning
A template-free and low temperature method for the synthesis of mesoporous magnesium phosphate with uniform pore structure and high surface area
published pages: 6939-6951, ISSN: 2040-3364, DOI: 10.1039/c8nr09205b
Nanoscale 11/14 2020-03-20
2018 Adriana Matamoros-Veloza, Tomasz M. Stawski, Liane G. Benning
Nanoparticle Assembly Leads to Mackinawite Formation
published pages: 6757-6764, ISSN: 1528-7483, DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.8b01025
Crystal Growth & Design 18/11 2020-03-20
2018 Daniela B. van den Heuvel, Tomasz M. Stawski, Dominique J. Tobler, Richard Wirth, Caroline L. Peacock, Liane G. Benning
Formation of Silica-Lysozyme Composites Through Co-Precipitation and Adsorption
published pages: , ISSN: 2296-8016, DOI: 10.3389/fmats.2018.00019
Frontiers in Materials 5 2020-03-20
2017 R. Besselink, J. D. Rodriguez-Blanco, T. M. Stawski, L. G. Benning, D. J. Tobler
How Short-Lived Ikaite Affects Calcite Crystallization
published pages: 6224-6230, ISSN: 1528-7483, DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00743
Crystal Growth & Design 17/12 2020-03-20
2019 Tomasz M. Stawski, Alexander E. S. Van Driessche, Rogier Besselink, Emily H. Byrne, Paolo Raiteri, Julian D. Gale, Liane G. Benning
The Structure of CaSO 4 Nanorods: The Precursor of Gypsum
published pages: 23151-23158, ISSN: 1932-7447, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b04268
The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 123/37 2020-03-20
2019 A.E.S. Van Driessche, T.M. Stawski, M. Kellermeier
Calcium sulfate precipitation pathways in natural and engineering environments
published pages: 119274, ISSN: 0009-2541, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2019.119274
Chemical Geology 2020-03-20
2019 Jörn Hövelmann, Tomasz M. Stawski, Helen M. Freeman, Rogier Besselink, Sathish Mayanna, Jeffrey Paulo H. Perez, Nicole S. Hondow, Liane G. Benning
Struvite Crystallisation and the Effect of Co2+ Ions
published pages: 503, ISSN: 2075-163X, DOI: 10.3390/min9090503
Minerals 9/9 2020-03-20
2019 Tomasz M Stawski, Daniela B van den Heuvel, Rogier Besselink, Dominique J Tobler, Liane G Benning
Mechanism of silica–lysozyme composite formation unravelled by in situ fast SAXS
published pages: 182-197, ISSN: 2190-4286, DOI: 10.3762/bjnano.10.17
Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology 10 2020-03-20
2018 Daniela B. van den Heuvel, Einar Gunnlaugsson, Ingvi Gunnarsson, Tomasz M. Stawski, Caroline L. Peacock, Liane G. Benning
Understanding amorphous silica scaling under well-constrained conditions inside geothermal pipelines
published pages: 231-241, ISSN: 0375-6505, DOI: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2018.07.006
Geothermics 76 2020-03-20
2018 Tomasz M. Stawski, Teresa Roncal-Herrero, Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, Adriana Matamoros-Veloza, Roland Kröger, Liane G. Benning
“On demand” triggered crystallization of CaCO 3 from solute precursor species stabilized by the water-in-oil microemulsion
published pages: 13825-13835, ISSN: 1463-9076, DOI: 10.1039/C8CP00540K
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20/20 2020-03-20

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