Clearfield, Abraham individual record
Distinguished Professor

Our research interests are focused in solid state and materials chemistry and encompass a wide variety of projects. An important goal is the ability to design and synthesize new materials whose structure and properties can be predicted and controlled. Layered compounds are amenable to manipulation to produce new structures because of the weak forces between layers. We have learned how to separate the layers of several classes of compounds and are reconstituting them into novel materials. For example, we have prepared staged materials in which alternating layers are hydrophobic and hydrophilic.

The surfaces of our layered materials react with a variety of molecules to bond them to the surface. We are developing such materials for drug delivery, heterogeneous catalysis, and polymer-nanoparticle composites.

Single crystal X-ray diffraction has been the key tool in elucidating the structure of solids. For many compounds, single crystals are unavailable so that indirect methods need to be used. We pioneered the solution of crystal structures from X-ray powder data and have had considerable success. The methods need to be improved and extended to more complex systems such as poorly crystallized materials. Combined use of X-ray, neutron and synchrotron methods are in progress and extension to EXAFS and amorphous scattering techniques is contemplated.

selected publications
Academic Articles590
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  • Chen, Y., Wang, X., Clearfield, A., & Liang, H. (2019). Anti-Galling Effects of α-Zirconium Phosphate Nanoparticles as Grease Additives. Journal of Tribology. 141(3),
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  • Bakhmutov, V. I., Elliott, D. W., Contreras, A. R., & Clearfield, A. (2018). Guest Molecules in a Layered Microporous Tin(IV) Phosphonate–Phosphate Material: Solid State NMR Studies. J Phys Chem A. 122(51), 9901-9909.
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  • Aman, R., Clearfield, A., Sadiq, M., & Ali, Z. (2018). HKUST-1 Supported on Zirconium Phosphate as an Efficient Catalyst for Solvent Free Oxidation of Cyclohexene: DFT Study. Catalysts. 8(11), 546-546.
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  • Clearfield. (2018). Inorganic Ion Exchange Materials. CRC Press.
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  • Brunet, E., Coln, J. L., & Clearfield, A. (2015). Tailored Organic-Inorganic Materials. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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  • Clearfield, A., Reibenspies, J. H., & Bhuvanesh, N. (2009). Principles and Applications of Powder Diffraction. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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  • Clearfield, A., & Diaz, A. (2015). Zirconium Phosphate Nanoparticles and Their Extraordinary Properties. ACS National Meeting Book of Abstracts. Tailored Organic-Inorganic Materials. 1-44. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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  • Clearfield, A., Perry, H. P., & Gagnon, K. J. (2013). Porous Pillared Clays and Layered Phosphates. Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry II. 169-211. Elsevier.
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  • Clearfield, A. (2012). Nature’s Nanoparticles: Group IV Phosphonates. Environmental Applications of Nanomaterials. 123-157. IMPERIAL COLLEGE PRESS.
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  • Clearfield, A. (2012). Twenty-five Years of Nuclear Waste Remediation Studies. Environmental Applications of Nanomaterials. 159-206. IMPERIAL COLLEGE PRESS.
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  • Hobbs, D. T., Nyman, M., Medvedev, D. G., Tripathi, A., & Clearfield, A. (2011). Evaluation of new inorganic sorbents for strontium and actinide removal from high-level nuclear waste solutions. Inorganic Chemistry: Reactions, Structure and Mechanisms. 165-169.
Conference Papers40
  • Amghouz, Z., Garca, J. R., Garca-Granda, S., Clearfield, A., Rodrguez Fernndez, J., de Pedro, I., & Blanco, J. A. (2012). Lanthanide phosphonates: Synthesis, thermal stability and magnetic characterization. Journal of Alloys and Compounds. 536(SUPPL.1), S499-S503.
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  • Sun, L., Liu, J., Kirumakki, S. R., Schwerdtfeger, E. D., Howell, R. J., Al-Bahily, K., ... Sue, H. J. (2010). Designing synthetic nanoplatelets for the preparation of polypropylene nanocomposites. International Polyolefins Conference 2010: Finding Value in Today's Business Environment.
  • Bakhmutov, V. I., Shpeizer, B. G., Prosvirin, A. V., Dunbar, K. R., & Clearfield, A. (2008). Formation of Ni/NiO Nanoparticles in Supermicroporous Silica-Based SiO2-Al2O3-NiO Materials: Structural and Magnetic Studies. 2008 8th IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology, 2008 8th IEEE Conference on Nanotechnology (NANO). 791-792.
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  • Boo, W. J., Sun, L. Y., Lee, S. M., Moghbelli, E., Warren, G., Clearfield, A., & Sue, H. J. (2007). Fundamental structure-property relationship of polymer nanocomposites. Annual Technical Conference - ANTEC, Conference Proceedings. 1, 119-122.
  • Clearfield, A. (2006). Coordination chemistry of phosphonic acids with special relevance to rare earths. Journal of Alloys and Compounds. 418(1-2), 128-138.
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chaired theses and dissertations
First Name
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mailing address
Texas A&M University; Chemistry Department; 3255 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-3255