The EnviroNano group, along with friends, family, nano-dogs and visitors at Carol's farewell party.

We are the Environmental Nanoscience group at Virginia Tech, led by professors Michael Hochella Jr (University Distiguished Professor, Geosciences), Mitsu Murayama (Materials Science & Engineering), and Marc Michel (Geosciences).

Our research, in a broad sense, aims to understand complex, environmentally relevant interactions between minerals, microbes, and metal contaminants. To this end our studies include laboratory experiments, mesocosm experiments, and field work, analyzed all the way down to the nanoscale.


  • The Virginia Tech National Center for Earth and Environmental Nanotechnology Infrastructure (NCE2NI) was chosen along with 15 other national entities as a member of the new National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure. Michael Hochella is the leading PI of the Virginia Tech Center, with key contributions of Marc Michel and Mitsu Murayama, among other faculty members affiliated with VTSuN. The National Science Foundation will provide a total of $81 million over five years to support these 16 sites. Mike, Marc and Mitsu, thank you for putting our group among the world leaders in the field of Nanotechnology! 
  • Welcome to Marc Michel's new Ph.D. student, Aly Hoeher, who succesfully graduated from Miami University!
  • Congratulations to Hannah King who graduated from Virginia Tech. Marc Michel's first student successfully defended her Master's thesis and is now embracing her new adventure as a Hydrologist at Geosyntec. We wish you best luck Hannah!

  • Michael Hochella has been made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (United Kingdon). Kudos to you Mike! Success is your middle name! 
  • Jie Xu and Saurav celebrated their communion life with a wedding in India and another one in China. Congratulations Jie. You both looked fantastic!
  • Carol Johnson defended her Ph.D. with success! She will now start a new stage of her life with a Postdoc at Duke University! Congratulations Carol, Geosciences wishes you all the best!
  • Mitsu Murayama's great research performance was once again recognized, with The 2014 Deans's Award for Faculty Fellow. Congratulations Mitsu!
  • Another great achievement of Hannah King, awarded with the Society of Exploration Grophysics/ExxonMobil Student Education travel grant to Denver!
  • Marc Michel was featured in the article "Virginia Tech researchers search for ways to better trace effects of coal ash spills" in The Roanoke Times for his contribution in the development of new approaches to better trace long-term effects of coal ash spills.
  • James Dale passed his prelims with success and is now a Ph.D. candidate. Congratualtions James!
  • Carol Johnson was awarded with the Geosciences Outstanding Graduate Service Award, during her graduation graduation ceremony and plans to defend her thesis in August. Let's go Carol! 
  • CEINT researchers, including Michael Hochella were featured with in a New York Times article entitled "Silver too small to see, but everywhere you look"

[last updated October 2, 2015]

Recent Publication

  • Johnson C., Murayama M., Kusel K., Hochela M.F. Jr., Polycrystallinity of green rust minerals and their synthetic analogs: Implications for particle formation and reactivity in complex systems. American Mineralogist, 100, pp. 2091-2105 [Abstract]. 
  • Rubio N., Serra-Maia R., Kafa H., Mei K-C., Al-Jamal K. (2014) Production of Water-Soluble Few-Layer Graphene Mesosheets by Dry Milling with Hydrophobic Drug. Langmuir, 30, pp. 14999-15008  [Abstract].
  • Hochella M.F. Jr., Jones K., Spencer M. (2015) Nanotechnology: Nature's Gift or Man's Brainchild. Environmental Science: Nano, (in press).
  • Kim B., Levard C., Murayama M., Brown G.E. Jr., Hochella M.F. Jr. (2014) Integrated Approaches of X-ray Absorption Spectroscopic and Electron Microscopic Techniques on Zn Speciation and Characterization in a Final Sewage Sludge Product. Journal of Environmental Quality,  43, pp. 908-916 [Abstract].
  • Caraballo M.A., Michel F.M., Hochella M.F., Jr. (2014) The rapid expansion of environmental mineralogy in unconventional ways: Beyond the accepted definition of a mineral, the latest technology, and using nature as our guide. American Mineralogist, (in press).
  • Yan C., Yang Y., Zhou J., Nie M., Liu M., Hochella M.F. Jr. (2014) Selected emerging organic contaminants in the Yangtze Estuary, China: A comprehensive treatment of their association with aquatic colloids. Journal of Hazardous Materials, (in press). 
  • Tiwari A.J., Morris J.R., Vejerano E.P., Hochella M.F. Jr., Marr L.C. (2014) Oxidation of C60 aerosol by atmospherically relevant levels of ozone. Environmental Science & Technology, 48, pp. 2706-2714. [Abstract]
  • Michel F.M., Total scattering studies of natural and synthetic ferrihydrite, Clays and Clay minerals, (in press).
  • Mikutta C., Schroder C., Michel F.M., Total x-ray scattering and spectroscopic analyses of amorphous ferric arsenate and amorphous ferric phosphate. Geochemica et Cosmochemica Acta, (Accepted).
  • French R.A., Monsegue N., Murayama M., Hochella M.F., Jr. (2014) The structure and transformation of the nanomineral schwertmannite: A synthetic analog representative of field samples. Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 41, pp. 237-246. [Abstract] 
  • Monsegue N., Reynolds Jr. W.T., Hawk J.A., Murayama M. (2014) How TEM Projection Artifacts Distort Microstructure Measurements: a Case Study in a 9% Cr–Mo–V Steel. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, 45A, pp. 3708-3713. [Abstract]
  • Wu C.-H., Aruguete D.M., Reynolds Jr. W.T., Murayama M. (2014) The role of twin boundary and surface energies in periodically twinned <1 1 1> nanowires. Acta mater, 75, pp. 180-187. [Abstract]
  • Hata S., Sato S., Murayama M., Tsuchiyama T., Nakashima H. (2014) An Experimental Protocol Development of Three-dimensional Transmission Electron Microscopy methods for ferrous alloys: towards Quantitative Microstructure Characterizations in 3D. Tetsu-to-Hagane, 100, pp. 889-896. [Abstract]
  • Johnson C.A., Freyer G., Fabisch M., Caraballo M.A., Kuesel K., Hochella Jr M.F. (2014) Observations and assessment of iron oxide and green rust nanoparticles in metal-polluted mine drainage within a steep redox gradient. Environmental Chemistry, 11, pp. 337-391. [Abstract]

Dec. 2007 - Wigginton, Haus (Plathe), Hochella   

Dec. 2008 - Hochella (ed.) and Elements co-founder

June 2011 - Madden, Hochella et al

2012 - Ch.1 Hochella, Aruguete, Kim, Madden

April 2012 - Bojeong Kim