Main focus

This master’s program deals with minerals and geomaterials with a special focus on clay minerals and geomaterials. The interest in clays results from their common availability, and their unique physical and chemical properties. No other mineral is currently attracting as much interest.

In addition to their long-standing conventional use as bricks, tiles, ceramics and more recently, for paper coating and waste management, clays have found many new applications. Clay minerals have given the technology a boost because they are inexpensive nanomaterials. They have huge potential for the synthesis of polymer nanocomposites with superior mechanical and thermal properties. The optimisation of adsorption, colloidal and rheological properties also opens up prospects of using clay minerals for medical purposes, pollution control, and environmental protection. Clay minerals play a role in economic geology (both as an important mineral resource and in the exploration of energy resources) and soil management. Clays also have many negative effects in geotechnics, manifested in the form of landslides, mudflows, and the deterioration of clay-based building materials.

IMACS is the first Master’s degree that addresses analytical techniques and their recent developments, as well as the main fields of application and properties of minerals/geomaterials  with a special focus on clays.