On April 26, 2021, Andrew Crowther, assistant professor of chemistry at Barnard College, Alaina Hartnett ‘20, and co-authors from Columbia University, University of New South Wales (Australia), and Brookhaven National Laboratory, published new research in Nature Chemistry – one of the world's most prestigious journals for cutting-edge research in all areas of chemistry.
The paper, titled “Superatomic Solid Solutions,” describes how these chemists and physicists used a process called “substitutional doping” (adding extra atoms to a starting material) to form three new types of solid solutions. This method has proven to be one of the most powerful approaches to modulating the properties of materials, leading to the discovery of various metal alloys and semiconductors.
Crowther and his co-authors’ research prepared solid solutions in hierarchical solids that are built from atomically precise clusters. All three new solid solutions showed increased electrical conductivity and different magnetic properties when compared to the starting material.