The EnviroNano group, along with friends, family, nano-dogs and visitors at Manuel'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.


  • 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"
  • Mitsu Murayama's 3M Nontenured Faculty Award for his work in three dimensional transmission electron microscopy has been renewed. The award was created more than 25 years ago to invest in individuals who will lead university teaching and research. Congratulations, Mitsu!
  • John Rakovan, former post-doc at Mike's group, discovered the world's largest single crystal of gold ever found. This 218 gram gold nugget was found in Venezuela and is worth an estimated $1.5 million.

[last updated June 18, 2014]

Recent Publications

  • Monsegue N., Reynolds Jr. W.T., Hawk J.A., Murayama M. How TEM Projection Artifacts Distort Microstructure Measurements: a Case Study in a 9% Cr–Mo–V Steel. Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, 2014 (in press).
  • Wu C.-H., Aruguete D.M., Reynolds Jr. W.T., Murayama M. Twining and twinning superlattice in [111] oriented chemical synthesized ultrathin gold nanowires: defective structure characterization and formation mechanism modeling. Acta mater, 2014 (in press).
  • Hata S., Sato S., Murayama M., Tsuchiyama T., Nakashima H. An Experimental Protocol Development of Three-dimensional Transmission Electron Microscopy methods for ferrous alloys: towards Quantitative Microstructure Characterizations in 3D. Tetsu-to-Hagane, 2014 (in press).
  • Johnson C.A., Freyer G., Fabisch M., Caraballo M.A., Kuesel K., Hochella Jr M.F. Observations and assessment of iron oxide and green rust nanoparticles in metal-polluted miner drainage within a steep redox gradient. Environmental Chemistry, 2014 (in press). [Abstract]
  • Kim B., Richardson C.J., and Hochella M.F., Jr. (2013) Nanoscale analytical transmission electron microscopy techniques applicable to wetland research and monitoring. In: Methods in Biogeochemistry of Wetlands, Soil Science Society of America Book Series 10 (R. D. DeLaune et al, Editors), pp. 857-878.
  • Caraballo M.A., Rimstidt J.D., Macías F., Nieto J.M., and Hochella M.F., Jr. (2013) Metastability, nanocrystallinity and pseudo-solid solution constraints to schwertmannite solubility. Chemical Geology, 360/361, 22-31. [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