Our group focuses on the relationships between the synthesis, structure and properties of inorganic materials. An understanding of these relationships lies at the heart of efforts to prepare materials with desirable properties by design.

The group has particular expertise in the use of x-ray and neutron scattering methods to learn about materials under conditions (temperature, pressure etc.) that are directly relevant to their preparation and use . However, we are not just a characterization group, we also make most of the materials we study.

Skills typically acquired by group members

Synthesis using direct high temperature solid state reactions, hydrothermal methods and the decompositon of crystalline or polymeric precursors.

Glass blowing and welding in the context of preparing sealed glass and metal reaction vessels

Analysis using thermogravimetric anlaysis, differential thermal analysis, IR spectroscopy, helium pycnometry (density measurement) etc.

Time resolved and variable temperature/pressure diffraction measurements

The analysis of large amounts of digital data generated during diffraction measurements using off the shelf programs and simple code written in house

Crystal structure analysis

Critical analysis of experimental data and hypotheses

Technical writing and presentations

Attributes that will aid success in the group

Enjoy critical evaluation of scientific data and literature.

Interested in working accross tradiational discipline boundaries and building a broad intelectual base. The group works close to the boundaries between materials chemistry, materials science/engineering and materials physics.

Enjoy computer based data analysis.

Work creatively and well under pressure. While this is not an everyday requirement, when the group is performing experiments at synchrotron facilities problems have to be solved creatively, safely and quickly, using whatwever resources are immediately available, as experimental time at these x-ray facilities is both very valuable and limited in duration.

Happy to travel and perform experiments at major facilities located in other parts of the US.

Enjoying working alone and as part of a team. While students in the group are responsible for their own projects, our synchrotron measurements often require several people to work together as a team to accomplish group objectives, as synchrotron and neutron facilities operate 24/7.

Enjoy working with mechanical and electrical systems as well as standard chemical equipment. Experimental set up and trouble shooting often requires skills in these areas.