Martin Donakowski

2013 Scholarship Program Recipient

Martin Donakowski, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA
Toward Molecular Control of Early–Transition Metal Oxide Fluoride Materials

"During my graduate and postgraduate studies, I have been involved with III-V semiconductors. I have used chemistry, physics, material science,and engineering disciplines interchangeably throughout my career. Such a multidisciplinary approach enabled my academic and industrial success. I am planning to continue along the same way: Engineer novel semiconductor devices and bring new and improved functionality to electronic and photonic technologies through materials, physics, and engineering skills. My goal is to improve the health and well-being of the community through innovations in energy-efficient and inexpensive semiconductor devices based on abundant materials."

Current Academic / Professional Pursuits

My research attempts to incorporate techniques of organic crystallography into inorganic, solid-state synthesis. Guided synthesis of extended solids is notoriously difficult owing to the numerous variables that govern solid-state chemistry. The research I perform – in collaboration with colleagues and researchers of other institutions – attempts to create noncentrosymmetric materials (materials that lack an inversion center). Noncentrosymmetric materials have 'nonlinear' properties such as second-harmonic generation (SHG), piezo and pyroelectricity, and optical rotation. To 'guide' syntheses for the creation of such materials, we have employed the use of 'bent' or '-shaped' moieties within a structure that are difficult to pack in a centrosymmetric manner. By studying how such phases formed and are stabilized, we create functional materials and generalizable principles to assist in the long-term goal of 'materials design'.

I currently am completing my Ph.D. under the advisement of Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier and plan on pursuing a postdoctoral research position.


Martin was a recient recipient of the 2013 Reaxys Prize awarded for original and innovative research in Chemistry.

Article: The role of polar, lamdba (Λ)-shaped building units in noncentrosymmetric inorganic structures.


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