The Robert Maddin Lecture in Materials Science

Maddin_poster_4.28.16_400px Finding New Electronic Materials

Robert J. Cava
Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry, Princeton University

Thursday, April 28, 2016
3:00 pm
The Glandt Forum
Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology
3205 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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“New materials give new properties” is a phrase that I think best describes the goal of our research program. We find new materials by thinking about how the chemistry and structures of materials at the level of the atoms and the unit cell might determine the electronic and magnetic properties of matter, and, although we are usually wrong in our guesses, we are occasionally right and do sometimes find new materials that are interesting. This would all be easier if there was a way to proceed in a straightforward fashion from predicting the stability of an unknown non-molecular solid, predicting what its properties would be, and then making and testing it, but unfortunately that is not the case. Our discussions with experimental and theoretical physicists teach us about issues in the electronic and magnetic properties of matter that might be addressed through the introduction of new materials, and our life in a chemistry department teaches us how to think about structure and bonding; our work is about putting two and two together to get 4. In this talk I will describe some of our recent results in several new materials areas, ranging from new superconductors and geometrically frustrated magnets to Topological Insulators and Dirac Semimetals.

Following training in materials science and engineering, Professor Cava received a Ph.D. in ceramics from MIT in 1978. After a one-year National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship with the National Bureau of Standards, he joined Bell Labs in 1979 and was made distinguished member of the technical staff in 1985. He has been a member of the chemistry faculty and the Materials Institute at Princeton since 1996. His specific research interests lie in the structure, characterization, and synthesis of new intermetallic and transition-metal oxide compounds with unusual electronic and magnetic properties. He also studies high-temperature superconductors, transparent conducting materials, dielectrics, and thermoelectrics, working to improve understanding of the quantum-level physics that gives these materials their special properties. Professor is well recognized for his research; he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and recently won the Linus Pauling Award.


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