Catherine Ryczek

(Hamilton University)

Catherine explaining her research to her cohort

Research Project Description.

In order for critical technologies to continue to advance, we will need to discover new materials that exhibit novel and traditionally unexpected properties. Transition metal compounds are particularly well situated to possess such qualities due to the unique quantum effects that are induced by their d-electrons. However, since the discovery of these effects, most of the research on transition metal materials has focused on the 3d-elements and their compopunds, thereby leaving the lower rows of the periodic table containing 4d- and 5d-elements predominantly unexplored. Dr. Cao's group works to fill in these holes of unknown elemental compounds through the synthesis and characterization of 4d- and 5d-transition metal compounds under various conditions. These compounds can exhibit properties that are fundamentally different from their 3d- counterparts due to the unique balance of interactions that act upon the electrons in such materials.


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