Analytical Chemistry - Research Interests for Dr. Ryan Winburn
Dr. Winburn's research focuses on solving difficulties in the quantitative analysis of complex mixtures of solids. In particular, he uses the Rietveld method in combination with X-ray powder diffraction to quantify these mixtures. This involves minimizing the difference between a calculated X-ray diffraction pattern and one obtained experimentally. To accomplish this, he has collaborative efforts with various laboratories, including the Materials Characterization Lab at North Dakota State University and the United States Geological Survey in Denver, CO. One group of complex mixtures that Dr. Winburn studies is coal combustion by-products such as those produced by the power plants in west central North Dakota. His research is also focused on using the Rietveld method to determine the structure of a series of ettringite compounds, species that are important for the investigation of coal combustion by-product diagenesis.
Recent research projects have focused on collaborations with Dr. Webster of the Geoscience program at Minot State University. These projects have focused on using the Rietveld method in conjunction with microscopy techniques (both optical microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)) to gain a more thorough understanding of the mineralogical composition of materials. Two such materials are volcanic specimens and heavy mineral separates from sandstones.