The Action comprise four Working Groups (WG) focusing on different aspects of chemobrionics research, including experimental aspects, theoretical questions, applications, and dissemination. These WGs is formed by participants from different groups to enhance the international collaborations. There is strong overlap between the various scientific areas, reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of the subject, and participating experts will be able to be members of more than one Working Group. This will facilitate a more intimate integration of scientific research and enhance knowledge transfer. The Working Groups are coordinated by Working Group leaders, selected from those members who are not members of the Management Committee so as to allow better distribution of workloads and to enhance cooperation within the network of participants. The Working Group leaders have high-level knowledge and experience in the topic of each Working Group. They set the style and content of the workgroups to ensure that they do not become merely research projects, and oversee the relationship with the network activities and the nature of the Action. The Working Group leaders ensure the relationship between wide actions in the network and the possibility to bring in the whole community in this area.
WORKING GROUP 1
Leader: Dezso Horvath (Hungary)
Co-Leader: Tito Trindade (Portugal)
WG1: Morphology and Nanocharacterization
Two main objectives can be defined in this WG:
a) to understand the relationship between the experimental conditions and morphology of these structures formed out of equilibrium; and
b) to combine different instrumental and analytical techniques to characterize these structures in terms of the chemical compositions and the gradient of chemical compositions and crystallinity.
1.1. Synthesis of precipitate structures and their precursors in 2-D
1.2. Growth of tubular structure driven by osmosis in 3-D flow conditions
1.3. Kinetic studies and dynamics of growth
1.4. Surface modification of nano structures
1.5. Characterization of precipitate structures at micro- and nanoscale level
1.5.1.-Identified conditions for 3-D X-ray tomography imaging.
1.5.2.-Optimized growth conditions in a gel.
WG2: Fluid Dynamics and Complex Systems Modeling
1.1 Understand the fluid dynamics of chemical gardens and biomimetic nano-materials;
1.2 Investigate the chemical interactions at the atomic scale in the formation of tubular structures;
1.3 Understand the thermodynamic interactions of the internal surfaces of these materials with water and organic molecules;
1.4 Construct a protocol for flow-controlled synthesis of given solid material;
1.5 Connect the fluid mechanics of chemical gardens to biological applications and the evolutionary history of plants.
All of these objectives have relevance for our understanding of the emergence of life at hydrothermal vents.
2.1 Monitoring the fluid dynamics during pattern formation with laser-induced fluorescence and particle-image velocimetry experiments.
2.2 Molecular dynamics simulations of a semipermeable membrane model.
2.3 Exploration of interactions of organic molecules in a confined space of tubular structures and extrapolation to the origin of life both on Earth and for astrobiology interests.
2.4 Characterization of the precipitation patterns and tubes as a function of concentrations and flow conditions.
2.5 Understand the role of self-organisation in corrosion.
2.6 Control of chemical garden formation using external fields.
2.1.1.- Constructed model for simulations.
WORKING GROUP 2
Leader: Silvana Cardoso (UK)
Co-Leader: Anne De Wit (Belgium)
WORKING GROUP 3
Leader: Lee Cronin (UK)
Co-Leader: Tan-Phat Huynh (Finland)
WG3: Natural and Technological Applications
This WG aims to investigate natural and technological objectives including:
a) to investigate applications of these tubular materials as adsorbents of heavy metals from wastewaters;
b) to explore the adsorption of biopolymers in these inorganic tubes for possible biosensors and biocatalysts;
c) to study fuel cells based on chemical gardens; d) to explore the natural application of chemobrionics to the emergence of life at hydrothermal vents.
3.1.-Characterise the tubular materials in terms of permeability, surface area, adsorption capacity, separation and catalytical support.
3.2.-Applications of the tubular materials as adsorbents for cleaning polluted wastewaters.
3.3.-Application of tubular forms based on transition and rare earth metals as chemical sensors and photoluminiscent devices.
3.4.-Application of the organo-composites of these tubular forms as biosensors and immobilized biocatalysts.
3.5.-Application to fuel cell and electrolyser technologies.
3.6 –A chemical garden setup to investigate the emergence of life at an alkaline submarine hydrothermal vent.
To promote dissemination and science-art crossover activities related to chemical gardens.
4.1.- Organization of activities for high schools in the different countries of the network, explaining the formation of biomimetic structures and enhancing the scientific vocations among teenagers.
4.2 – Organization of touring photo and video exhibitions.
4.3 – Organization of a touring science-art installation of chemical gardens with sound.
4.4 – Digital content including interactive website, blogs and wiki pages.
4.5 – Dissemination to industrial beneficiaries, by inviting key leaders in a wide range of applications identified above to seminars and meetings.
WORKING GROUP 4
Leader: Richard-Emmanuel Eastes (Switzerland)
Co-Leader: Jitka Cejkova (Czech Republic)