Efrain Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
University of Maryland
My group focuses on the synthesis and structural studies of compounds broadly known as quantum materials. Although resistant to a precise definition, quantum materials broadly encompass categories that will enable the quantum information revolution such as superconductors, topological insulators, and magnetic materials.
In this seminar, I will cover layered metal chalcogenides intercalated by a variety of species that control the functionality of the quantum material. Our design strategy is to stack different metal chalcogenide layers using molecular complexes to guide their stacking and orientation. We focus on metal chalcogenides that contain iron and cobalt and exhibit properties such as superconductivity and ferromagnetism. We propose that hydrogen bonding when we intercalate species such as ammonia, metal amides and hydroxides, or even complexes such as [M(en)3]2+ where M is a transition metal and en = ethylenediamine. These non-covalent interactions not only stabilize the growth of these layered materials but in some cases lead to novel behavior. For example, we can promote physical properties that are normally contra-indicated due to the hybrid nature of these materials.
Materials Science & Engineering Dept.