For long periods of time, geologists tried repeatedly in their laboratories to manufacture dolomite, one of the common minerals found in nature, by simulating appropriate natural conditions. Their reward, after two centuries of time, was that they finally achieved their desired goal thanks to a group of researchers from the American University of Michigan and the University of… Japanese Hokkaido, after their dependence on New approach Derived from atomistic simulations. This achievement not only revealed a long-standing geological mystery, but it is a major input into the manufacture of new crystalline materials and minerals.
The classification of dolomite according to its known mineral properties today came in 1792 by the Swiss naturalist Nicolas de Saussure, as it consists of calcium and magnesium carbonate. It was widely used in the buildings of ancient Rome, and is distinguished by its attractive appearance thanks to the white, brown, gray and pink crystals as well.
Its uses today are numerous for several purposes, such as an ornamental stone, for smelting iron and steel, and in the manufacture of polished glass. It is also considered to have economic value for storing petroleum.
The discovery made by scientists lies in their ability to manufacture dolomite in laboratories thanks to simulating the formation of a stable crystal network at the atomic level. This is unlike previous simulations, as the innovative methodology took into account dynamic changes in the atomic structure over time.
The method used was to use a fine dolomite crystal as a seed for subsequent growth by immersing it in a solution of calcium and magnesium, then exposing it to an electron beam and radiating it 4,000 times over a period of two hours.
This process splits the solution, producing an acid that removes the unstable stains while maintaining the stable stains. The resulting vacancies and empty areas in the crystal structure are then quickly filled by the precipitation of magnesium and calcium atoms from the solution, forming the basic rows of atoms that later form the mineral dolomite.
The discovered solution for the manufacture of dolomite mineral provides a new model in the fields of engineering and manufacturing of crystalline materials, in contrast to traditional methods that sought to slowly manufacture and develop defect-free materials. This theory suggests that defect-free materials can be made quickly by periodically dissolving defects during the growth process.
The researchers believe that prospective applications will benefit many modern technologies, such as semiconductors, solar panels, batteries, and other technology applications.