Last Updated: 11/13/15

Huifang Xu

Email: hfxu@geology.wisc.edu

University prior to coming to ASU: Johns Hopkins
Status at ASU: Postdoc
Time period at ASU: 1993 1997

My family and myself

This is our 12th year in Madison, Wisconsin. Our three children (David, Charles and Angie) are grown up now. My wife, Zufang Shan and I enjoy working at the university and traveling in the country. Last summer, we visited Yellowstone National Park with my daughter Angie. We camped for 5 nights in the park, because we enjoyed it very much.

I still use TEM for my research works. Recently, we used aberration-corrected STEM a lot. I combine Z-contrast imaging and density functional theory (DFT) methods for solving crystal structures of nano-phases and defects in minerals.  Our new findings from Z-contrast images and single crystal diffraction show that Ca-Na ordering occurs in intermediate plagioclase (or e-plagioclase) feldspars in addition to Al-Si ordering. Crystal structures of the intermediate plagioclase feldspars are very different from their end members of albite and anorthite. The ordered structure (with point group of 1) is similar to that of omphacite in the diopside – jadeite system.  

My other research subject is about solving sedimentary dolomite problem. Our results show that polysaccharides (common in microbial EPS) can catalyze dolomite growth at low-temperature. Recent molecular dynamics modeling shows that the hydrophobic space near the surface created by the non-polar –CH groups of a polysaccharide in the bridge conformation is the reason for the observed reduction of energy barrier.

7 * M Research Group at Arizona State University