Daniele J Cherniak
Senior Research Scientist, Earth and Environmental Sciences
My research has largely focused on the characterization of diffusion of geochemically important elements — including lead, strontium, rare earth elements, actinides, high-field-strength elements, and noble gases — in a range of rock-forming minerals. These measurements provide important constraints in deciphering thermal histories and in the understanding of a range of geochemical processes. I use accelerator-based ion beam techniques like Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and Nuclear Reaction Analysis (NRA) for analyses in many of these diffusion studies; I have also sought to optimize the application of these techniques in analysis of geological materials.
In addition to diffusion studies, I’ve developed and refined flux growth methods for mineral synthesis, including zircon, xenotime, monazite, and other rare earth phosphates. These have since been used in diffusion experiments and, in the case of rare earth phosphates, as electron microprobe standards.