Solid State Science

Solid State Facilities

At UC Davis, faculty and students can access more than 170 state-of-the-art research facilities. Core facilities include NMR instrumentation for spectroscopy and imaging, the Keck Spectral Imaging Facility, the Crocker Nuclear Laboratory, and the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory.

Creative and interdisciplinary research is a hallmark of NEAT (Nanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture and Technology), a consortium of UC Davis faculty from multiple departments. NEAT researchers seek to understand the fundamentals of materials, especially at the nanoscale, and use this understanding in areas ranging from solar cells, batteries and catalysts in energy applications, to environmental and soil science, to biology, food and medicine. 

The University of California, Davis is building one of the world’s strongest research programs in solid state science, an exciting field that forms the basis for development and applications of new materials technologies and includes a broad range of study from quantum mechanics, metals, ceramics, and polymers to electronic, magnetic and optical materials and nanostructures to electromagnetism, nanostructures and semiconductors. Discoveries in this field lead to new solutions for improved human health, advances in information technology, and alternative energy sources.

As Interim Dean of the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences in the College of Letters and Science, it gives me great pleasure to announce an amazing increase in our faculty in experimental solid state science. This fall, we welcome three appointments in materials chemistry, four in experimental condensed matter physics, and one each in chemical engineering, and materials science and engineering. These wonderful new assistant professors add strength and diversity to our faculty and complement existing major efforts in solid state theory and experimentation in our departments across several colleges. Their research, fundamental in nature, has applications in fields including energy, electronics, environment and health. We welcome them and look forward to their and our future success.

— Alexandra Navrotsky
Interim Dean, Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Interdisciplinary Professor of Ceramic, Earth, and Environmental Materials Chemistry

New Faculty

Alexander Dudnik

Alexander Dudnik (Chemistry)

Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2011

Dudnik merges organic and polymer chemistries and materials science to address current scientific challenges in sustainable energy, functional electronic materials and human health. His research includes developing transition metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions for concise synthesis of conjugated polymers, synthesis of three-dimensionally conjugated covalent organic frameworks, and new catalytic approaches to controlled precision polymer synthesis. 

Mohammad Hamidian

Mohammad Hamidian (Physics)

Ph.D. Physics, Cornell University, 2011

An experimental condensed matter physicist, Hamidian’s research centers on strongly correlated electronic quantum matter and visualization methods of electronic structure, broken symmetries, topological order and quantum criticality. He performed the first direct visualization of heavy fermion formation and discovered an exotic phase of matter known as d-form factor density wave in the cuprate high temperature superconductors.  


Kristie Koski (Chemistry)

Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, 2008

Koski is an interdisciplinary scientist with interests spanning physics, chemistry, and materials science and engineering. Her current research focuses on two-dimensional layered nanomaterials, including developing new synthetic growth methods and novel chemical methods/techniques for electro-optical tailoring, optical property measurements, non-invasive measurements of biological materials, and direct applications.


Coleman Kronawitter (Chemical Engineering)

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2012

Kronawitter’s research emphasizes
chemical and materials aspects of new energy technologies, with particular
focus on understanding chemical transformations driven by electrocatalytic and catalytic processes.


Roopali Kukreja (Materials Science and Engineering)

Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering Stanford University, 2014

Kukreja develops ultrasensitive tools to directly measure spin currents in magnetic materials, particularly the cuprate superconductors. She conducts X-ray experiments that focus on magnetic properties of materials and participates in the fabrication of exotic materials used in these experiments.

Da Silva Neto

Eduardo da Silva Neto (Physics)

Ph.D. Physics, Princeton University, 2013

Da Silva Neto led a resonant X-ray scattering study that detected charge ordering in electron-doped cuprate superconductors for the first time, a surprising experimental finding. He now heads a large collaborative effort to perform a comprehensive X-ray study of the charge density wave order in the electron-doped cuprates.


Valentin Taufour (Physics)

Ph.D. Physics, CEA Grenoble, Joseph Fourier University, France, 2011

Taufour designs and studies new magnetic materials, including superconducting materials such as ferromagnetic uranium superconductors. He has expertise in measurements at both low-temperature (30 mK) and high hydrostatic pressure (up to 10 GPa).


Jesús Velázquez (Chemistry)

Ph.D. Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2012

Velázquez explores and designs well-defined dimensionally reduced materials, including monolayers, bilayers, nanocrystalline thin films and free-standing mesoporous monoliths. The target materials have immediate applications in nanoelectronics, solar fuels and environmental remediation. 


Inna Vishik (Physics)

Ph.D. Applied Physics, Stanford University, 2013

Vishik is interested in both the basic science of quantum materials and applications of novel materials to renewable energy and next-generation electronics. Her studies include unconventional superconductors
and correlated electron systems with ultrafast optical pump-probe techniques.