Miguel Gomez Gonzalez


Miguel Gomez-Gonzalez is a Beamline Scientist working on beamline I14. Miguel joined Diamond in 2019 after postdoctoral research at Imperial College London.

Email: miguel.gomez-gonzalez@diamond.ac.uk>
Tel: +44 (0)1235 567579

Key Research Areas

nanomaterials transformations in environmental media, in situ XRF/XANES analysis, ptychography reconstructions, colloids transport in soils

Latest Publications

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- Transformation of engineered nanomaterials in environmental samples

Engineered nanomaterials can undergo a range of chemical and morphological changes in the environment, and the transformed species may present different properties and toxicity than their pristine counterparts. Developing spatially-resolved methodologies able to provide information about these transformations and mechanisms is key to evaluate their fate and behaviour in environmental samples.

- Potential association of engineered nanomaterials to micro(nano)plastics

Plastic pollution accounts to roughly 2400 to 8600 tonnes of plastic every year due to their non-biodegradable nature. UV-exposure and mechanical abrasion could delaminate and degrade specific plastics, triggering their fragmentation into small plastic-debris and micro- and nano-plastics. While these microplastics may be cytotoxic to (micro)organisms, they can also sorb hazardous chemicals and materials, enhancing their potential toxicity. This gap in the literature leaves open the question of whether these potential complexes should be considered as nanoscale pollutants, since their uncontrolled introduction into the environment may have a significant impact on ecosystems, even at relatively low concentrations.

- Ptychography and phase contrast imaging

Scanning coherent diffractive imaging, such as X-ray ptychography, is recently attracting a vast interest in the synchrotron community. Developing methods for hyperspectral detection and fast ptychography imaging/reconstruction for a range of experimental samples is one of our main concerns at I14.

- In situ sample environments

Only a few spatially resolved techniques are capable of probing dissolution kinetics and subsequent transformations of individual nano-microparticles over relative short-timescales. In situ X-ray fluorescence microscopy at hard X-ray nanoprobes offers a unique capability to monitor morphology and surface chemistry changes of the nanoparticles within relevant environments, with energy and spatial resolutions of 0.5 eV and 50 nm respectively.
The morphological and chemical transformations of nanomaterials can be assessed at I14 within hydrated environments. This capability is crucial to evaluate whether these transformations also affects their associated ecotoxicology to (micro)organisms in aquatic media.

If you feel your research area could match any of the above, please contact me to discuss potential beamtime applications

Research Interests

I consider myself an environmental scientist with an analytical chemistry background, seeking state-of-the-art research on environmental processes, such as fate, behaviour and dissolution kinetics of engineered nanomaterials in aquatic media.

As Research Associate at Materials Department (Imperial College London), my research focused in studying the chemical transformations and speciation changes of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanomaterials in the environment; being among the most widely utilised nanomaterials in cosmetics, paints, personal hygiene products, sunscreens and antibacterial agents in ointments and lotions.

Concisely, I was working in a multidisciplinary project, enlarging my knowledge on the following topics:

  1. Synthesis of ZnO nanorods and study of their fate and transformations within wastewater environment
  2. Development of X-ray fluorescence microscopy and other synchrotron-based techniques for molecular-level speciation of elements, including the spatially-resolved (in situ) transformation of nanomaterials
  3. High-resolution electron microscopy for studying nanomaterial-environment interfaces and kinetics
  4. Synthesis of isotopically labelled ZnO and its detection at extremely low concentrations by mass collector-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry

During my Ph.D. entitled “Combined application of spectroscopic and separation techniques for characterisation and speciation of toxic elements associated to colloidal vectors of geochemical interest”, carried out in the National Museum of Natural Sciences (Spanish Council for Scientific Research) and in the University of Zaragoza, I tried to bridge the difficult gap between soil contamination and its mobilization through water resources as colloidal micro- and nano-particles. There, I gained experience in laboratory experimental design and sample characterisation, by using a broad range of advanced analytical techniques such as Environmental Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopy (ESEM/TEM), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS, measured at international synchrotron facilities) and asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (AF4) coupled to an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Older publications are presented below, for a complete list of research papers, please visit Miguel's profile at Research Gate.


(12)      Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Koronfel, M. A.; Pullin, H.; Parker, J. E.; Quinn, P. D.; Inverno, M.D.; Scott, T. B.; Xie, F.; Voulvoulis, N.; Yallop, M. L.; Ryan, M.P.; Porter, A. E. -- Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of Nanoparticles under Real-World Wastewater Treatment Conditions. Advanced Sustainable Systems, 2021. 2100023


(11)      Quinn, P. D.; Alianelli, L.; Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Mahoney, D.; Cacho-Nerin, F.; Peach, A.; Parker, J.E. --  The Hard X-ray Nanoprobe beamline at Diamond Light Source. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 2021. 28, 3, 1006-1013


(10)      Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Koronfel, M. A.; Goode, A. E.; Al-Ejji, M.; Voulvoulis, N.; Parker, J. E.; Quinn, P. D.; Scott, T. B.; Xie, F.; Yallop, M.L;  Ryan, M.P.; Porter, A. E. -- Spatially Resolved Dissolution and Speciation Changes of ZnO Nanorods during Short-Term in Situ Incubation in a Simulated Wastewater Environment. ACS Nano, 2019. 13, 10, 11049-11061


(9)         Koronfel, M. A.; Goode, A. E.; Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Weker, J. N.; Simoes, T. A.; Brydson, R.; Quinn, P.; Toney, M. F.; Hart, A.; Porter, A. E.; Ryan, M.P. -- Chemical Evolution of CoCrMo Wear Particles: An in Situ Characterization Study. J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123 (15),9894–9901.


(8)         Rubio-Garcia, J.; Kucernak, A.; Zhao, D.; Li, D.; Fahy, K.; Yufit, V.; Brandon, N.; Gomez-Gonzalez, M. -- Hydrogen/Manganese Hybrid Redox Flow Battery. J. Phys. Energy 2018, 1 (1), 15006.


(7)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Villalobos, M.; Marco, J. F.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Bolea, E.; Laborda, F.; Garrido, F. -- Iron Oxide - Clay Composite Vectors on Long-Distance Transport of Arsenic and Toxic Metals in Mining-Affected Areas. Chemosphere 2018, 197, 759–767.


(6)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Bolea, E.; O’Day, P. A.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Garrido, F.; Laborda, F. -- Combining Single-Particle Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy to Evaluate the Release of Colloidal Arsenic from Environmental Samples. Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2016, 408 (19), 5125–5135.


(5)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Voegelin, A.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Bolea, E.; Laborda, F.; Garrido, F. -- Colloidal Mobilization of Arsenic from Mining-Affected Soils by Surface Runoff. Chemosphere 2016, 144, 1123–1131.


(4)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Laborda, F.; Garrido, F. -- Thallium Occurrence and Partitioning in Soils and Sediments Affected by Mining Activities in Madrid Province (Spain). Sci. Total Environ. 2015, 536, 268–278.


(3)         Serrano, S.; Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; O’Day, P. A.; Laborda, F.; Bolea, E.; Garrido, F. -- Arsenic Speciation in the Dispersible Colloidal Fraction of Soils from a Mine-Impacted Creek. J. Hazard. Mater. 2015, 286, 30–40.


(2)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Garcia-Guinea, J.; Garrido, F.; Townsend, P. D.; Marco, J.F. -- Thallium and Manganese Complexes Involved in the Luminescence Emission of Potassium-Bearing Aluminosilicates. J. Lumin. 2015, 159, 197–206.


(1)         Gomez-Gonzalez, M. A.; Serrano, S.; Laborda, F.; Garrido, F. -- Spread and Partitioning of Arsenic in Soils from a Mine Waste Site in Madrid Province (Spain). Sci. Total Environ. 2014, 500501, 23–33.



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