Boron in Functional Materials: from Clusters and Catalytic Surfaces to 2D Materials
Interactions of metals with boron can be covalent and ionic, and can flux from one to another even upon vibrational motion. Many interesting new materials with special properties result from this feature of metal-boron interactions. I will show how boration can promote selectivity of catalysis on extended metal surfaces and on surface-mounted small clusters. Theoretical predictions in this domain were confirmed experimentally. Metal-boron bonding also explains the hardness and its aniosotropy of recently discovered ultra-hard borides, giving us guidance for the design of future even harder materials. We additionally explain the mechanism of mixed valency in the topological Kondo insulator, SmB6, (which has been an enigma since the 60s). Finally, our pursuits led us to finding a new classes of 2D materials, which are metallic, in some cases magnetic, or exhibit anisotropic electric conductivity. This is a theory talk, but the parallel experimental effort will be presented too.
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Born in USSR, she obtained her B.S./M.S. degree with highest honors from Saratov University, in 2000. She obtained her Ph.D. in Theoretical Physical Chemistry from Utah State University, in 2005. After that, she was a Postdoctoral Associate, and then an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University. Anastassia joined the Faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, and CNSI in 2010.