Research Activities

Our research activities are focused on the physical chemistry of crystals. Our aim is to better understand how the perfect order in molecular and ionic crystal structures, dense crystal packing and solid-state dynamics impact the fundamental physical properties and chemical reactivity. We want to leverage that knowledge to inform the design of new materials and technologies.

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Our laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, including:

  • Powder X-ray diffractometer featuring 3x SLS detectors (originally designed for synchrotron data collection), custom-made for crystal structure solutions, photo-crystallography and measurements at various non-ambient conditions
  • Confocal micro-Raman spectrometer for surface scattering, surface imaging and photo-spectroscopy, equipped with gas-chamber and hot/cold stage
  • Modern thermoanalytical and thermogravimetric instrumentation
  • Synthetic laboratory for bench and schlenk chemistry
  • Standard analytical techniques (shared with the Dept of Chemistry)

We make use of the high-performance computing resources at the SMU Center for Scientific Computation, featuring the ManeFrame II (M2) computing cluster.

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Our experimental efforts are supported by several large-scale facilities, including APS, NIST, DESY and ALS. At these research centers, we perform powder and single-crystal X-ray diffraction, photo-diffraction, powder neutron diffraction, in-situ diffraction during milling, in-situ diffraction and spectroscopy during gas-dosing, inelastic neutron scattering (INS) and quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) spectroscopy.