Physical Sciences Building, Office 173 (413) 545-1557
We are exploring how extreme pressure awakens new forms of chemical reactivity. A deeper understanding of the bonding that arises in the solid state when atoms are squeezed together will allow us to rationally target the synthesis of exotic new materials. The properties we are targeting include superhardness, ultrahigh density, high chemical and heat resistance, superconductivity, and permanent magnetism. We are also studying the role that kinetics plays in the solid state by integrating chemical synthesis into cutting-edge dynamic compression techniques to target kinetically-stabilized non-equilibrium phases. Students in our group will become experts in high-pressure techniques, solid-state synthesis, and X-ray crystallography, and will pursue studies on the new compounds they discover using magnetic, spectroscopic, and bulk properties measurements.