The innovation engine for new materials

Materials Chemistry of Organ Pipe Metal

Seminar Group: 


Dr. Catherine M. Oertel


Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Oberlin College


Friday, February 25, 2022 - 11:00am


MRL Room 2053


Prof. Ram Seshadri

Centuries-old organs were among the most complex devices built prior to the industrial revolution, and they stand as valuable documents not only of musical history but also of technological history.  There is a role for current materials chemistry in understanding the properties of historic organ pipe metal, including its susceptibility to corrosion damage.  We have used laboratory exposure experiments to study initial corrosion as a function of alloy composition and atmospheric conditions.  We employed gravimetry, X-ray diffraction, EDX/WDX, and SEM imaging of surfaces and cross-sections to study growth rates, compositions, and morphologies of corrosion product phases.  Direct hydrothermal crystallization of corrosion products has allowed elucidation of their atomic-level structures and studies of the conversion of short-term to long-term corrosion products.  These corrosion product structures, in turn, formed the basis for synthesis of a new family of lead oxide carboxylates with extended inorganic substructures.  While not directly implicated in the corrosion of historic objects, this expanded group of compounds provides a fruitful test case for the role of ligand shape in influencing packing, symmetry, and chirality in hybrid materials.      


This seminar is also available via zoom.  Please contact Sylvia at sylvia [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu for details.