Department of Chemistry，Princeton University
Robert Cava is the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, and is the former chair of the Chemistry Department. His research in new materials emphasizes the relationships between chemistry, crystal structure, and electronic and magnetic properties. Superconductors, magnetic materials, thermoelectrics, topological insulators, geometrically frustrated magnets, and correlated electron systems are of particular current interest. He received his Ph.D. in Ceramics from MIT in 1978, after which he was an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Solid State Chemistry at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He began at Princeton in 1997 after working at Bell Laboratories for 17 years, where he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Ceramic Society, and the Neutron Scattering Society of America, and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He has been recipient of international awards and other recognitions for his teaching and research.
“New materials give new physics” is a phrase that I hope people consider when they are working to establish research programs in condensed matter physics. New materials are usually introduced into the materials physics community through the work of scientists who are primarily physicists and perform materials synthesis as a sidelight. We find new materials from a different point of view – our work is about the chemistry and structures of materials first, but, in a thrust area only rarely found in the chemistry community, is directed solely toward finding new solid, non-molecular compounds that display unusual electronic and magnetic properties. In this talk I will describe some of our recent results in many new materials areas, ranging from new superconductors and geometrically frustrated magnets to Topological Insulators and Dirac Semimetals. Our extensive discussions and collaborations with experimental and theoretical physicists inspire us to perfect our materials, and more importantly teach us about the issues in materials physics that might be addressed through the introduction of new materials; this gives us many of the ideas for our work. In addition to describing the new materials and crystallographic studies we have recently performed in response to issues we have learned about in materials physics, this talk will also introduce several concepts in chemistry that we have used to find new superconductors. We are thankful to our many collaborators for their contributions to our work.
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