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Paul Fenter

Group Leader, Interfacial Processes
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
CHM 200, R133A
Argonne, IL 60439
Phone: 630-252-7053; Fax: 630-252-7415


Ph.D. (Physics) University of Pennsylvania, 1990
(Prof. Torgny Gustafsson, thesis advisor)

B.S. (Physics) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1984
(Magna cum Laude), (Prof. Toh-Ming Lu, thesis advisor)


American Physical Society, American Chemical Society,
Geochemical Society


Atomic and molecular scale phenomena at solid-liquid interfaces, surfaces and
other complex interfaces, with an emphasis on in-situ measurements. Specific
areas of interest include:

  • structure of mineral-water interfaces
  • adsorption/association of ions at charged interfaces
    (electrical double-layer structure)
  • structure and growth of organic thin-film structures
  • real-time studies of mineral growth and dissolution


A powerful set of synchrotron-based X-ray tools are used to achieve these goals
making use of the unique characteristics of the Advanced Photon Source. These
include high-resolution X-ray scattering (X-ray reflectivity, grazing incidence X-ray
scattering), X-ray standing waves, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

Extension of these approaches to accommodate the structural/chemical complexities
of the mineral-water interface have led to the development of:

  • X-ray standing wave imaging for the direct imaging of ion site distributions
  • Resonant anomalous X-ray reflectivity to simultaneously probe the
    coupled geometric and spectroscopic structures of the mineral-water interface.

The development of additional elemental, spectroscopic, and phase sensitivities
for these techniques is underway.

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