Condensed-Matter Physics & Materials Science Seminar

"Chemistry beyond the crystal- advanced Fourier techniques"

Presented by Simon Kimber, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Monday, April 30, 2018, 1:30 pm — ISB Bldg. 734 Conf. Rm. 201 (upstairs)

Chemical crystallography nowadays makes structure determination and refinement trivial. However, advances in x-ray and neutron sources mean that we should revisit some of the basic assumptions that shape our experiments. For example, most chemical reactivity in e.g. catalysis, self-assembly etc, occurs in the solution phase. Why are we as crystallographers then wedded to the solid state? In this presentation, I will show how total scattering can be used to determine changes in cluster structure during photochemical reactions and to probe the role of the solvent in 'magic size' cluster formation. I will then describe how neutron scattering techniques can be used to challenge another basic assumption- the static approximation in total scattering. We have successfully applied so-called 'dynamic-PDF' techniques to simple chalcogenide materials. This allows to determine the time scale on which local distortions appear, providing insight into the role of highly anharmonic phonons in e.g. phase change and thermoelectric materials. Time allowing, I will also provide a short update on progress at ORNL, including the upcoming restart of the SNS, and new instrumentation for diffraction, total and diffuse scattering.

Hosted by: Ian Robinson

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