Smectite is a clay mineral that occurs in multiple surface environments, both terrestrial and marine, frequently as one of their main mineral components. It has the unique property of admitting inorganic and organic species as well as water in its interlayer space. Smectite expandability and large surface area make it a main control of the physical and chemical behaviour of the environments where it is found.
The present study aims at investigating the structure of smectite from molecular scale to the micro meter scale by coupling different techniques (experimental and numerical) in order to describe precisely the geometry of the system and to define the localisation and the organisation of water molecules and ions. In parallel, a dynamical study will be done to determine the diffusion rate of ions and water molecules in the system. This coupled study will be used to determine the main parameters controlling the diffusion of ions and water in smectite and will provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of ions and pollutants migration in soil.
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