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Dr. Robert Cava, September 22nd

“Finding New Materials- a Chemical Perspective”


Finding new materials that are of interest in the community of materials physicists is, in my view, best done by using the insights and tools of solid-state chemistry to direct
exploratory synthesis towards finding materials with potentially new electronic and magnetic properties. Unfortunately, however, most solid-state chemists do not feel comfortable with the language of physics, and further compounding the disconnect
between physics and chemistry, materials physicists do not in general understand the complexities of chemistry and its language. Theoretical physicists, who I personally find to be lots of fun, seem even further in research culture from “bench chemists”, making chemical research even harder to aim towards forefront physics though it is the theorists who most often live in gardens of untested ideas. In this talk I plan to describe materials in several different chemical families that we have worked on in recent years – found from a distinctly chemical perspective, I think, with their potential significance to materials physics in mind. Some of them you may find interesting and others not so interesting. The main idea is to keep trying, propose and find new
materials to see what sticks, welcome collaborations, and never give up.



Robert Cava is a solid-state chemist at Princeton University and holds the title of Russell Wellman Moore Professor in the Department of Chemistry also at Princeton University. He is the Present Chair, International Advisory Committee, Ensemble Research Center, Poland. He is presently a member of the U.S. DOE Council
on Materials Science and Engineering and the National Award Selection Committee American Chemical Society. Dr. Cava is on the Inaugural Editorial Board, Physical Review Materials. Cava won the 2021 David Adler Lectureship Award in the Field of Materials Physics and the Fall 2022 Excellence in Teaching Award from Princeton University. He holds a BS and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as a PhD in Ceramics from MIT. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Crystallography, Powder Neutron Diffraction, and Solid-State Chemistry at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Cava has published over 500 peer-reviewed papers cited over 30,000 times.