Cava Receives 2016 Materials Research Society Medal

Dec. 20, 2016
Princeton University Distinguished Professor Robert J. Kava is honored for pioneering work in 3D topological insulators.

Robert J. Cava, distinguished professor at Princeton University, receives the 2016 Materials Research Society (MRS) Medal. The MRS Medal, endowed by Toh-Ming Lu and Gwo-Ching Wang, is awarded for a specific outstanding recent discovery or advancement that has a major impact on the progress of a materials-related field. Cava is cited "for pioneering contributions in the discovery of new classes of 3D topological insulators." He was presented the MRS Medal during the MRS Awards Ceremony on November 30.

Cava's research includes the solid-state chemistry of electronic and magnetic materials, emphasizing their structure-chemistry-property relationships, according to MRS. Topological Insulators are a frontier research area in the physics of electronic materials. In Cava’s opinion, the need is critical for high-quality materials in single crystal form on which to perform experiments. Cava and his Princeton and Brookhaven Laboratory collaborators, especially N. Phuan Ong, Ali Yazdani, Satya Kushwaha, Andrei Bernevig, Tony Valla and Ivo Pletikosic, have been working in a theory-synthesis-crystal growth-materials characterization loop to discover and develop crystals of new materials to feed into this rapidly moving area. Cava’s work is funded primarily through an ARO-sponsored MURI on topological insulators and also through an NSF-sponsored MRSEC at Princeton University.

Cava is the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, where he was associate director of the Materials Institute from 1999 to 2001 and chair of the Chemistry Department from 2004 to 2010. He began at Princeton in 1997 after working at Bell Laboratories for 17 years, where he was a distinguished member of the technical staff. He received his B.S. degree and M.S. degree in materials science and engineering and Ph.D. degree in ceramics (1978) from MIT, after which he was a postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Cava has served on international award and evaluation committees, has been the recipient of teaching and mentoring awards at Princeton and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of The Royal Society (London).

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