Prof Puru Jena enlightens on “Beyond the Periodic Table of Elements”

The Department of Physics, SRM University-AP, Andhra Pradesh, organizes a continual online and offline Lecture Series entitled “Eminent Guest Lecture Series: An Odyssey of Physics” to understand the recent advances and future developments in the field of Physics and allied sciences. The first seminar of this lecture series, on the theme Beyond the Periodic Table of Elements is scheduled to be held on June 19, 2021 at 5.00 pm (IST). Prof Puru Jena, distinguished Professor of Physics at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA will enlighten and engage the session with his extensive knowledge and expertise in the domain.

Abstract: The periodic table created by Mendeleev in 1869 is the mother of all materials. The realization that the physics and chemistry of materials at the nanoscale can be very different from their bulk and that their properties in small clusters can be tailored one atom at a time led to the hypothesis, more than twenty years ago, that stable atomic clusters with specific size and composition and mimicking the chemistry of atoms can be designed and synthesized. These clusters, known as superatoms, can form the building blocks of a new three-dimensional periodic table as well as a new class of cluster-assembled materials. In this talk, Dr Puru Jena will outline the considerable progress that has been made over the years by focusing on superalkalis and superhalogens, which mimic the chemistry of alkalis and halogens, respectively and can be used to form supersalts with uncommon properties. The ionization energies of superalkalis are less than those of alkali atoms while the electron affinities of superhaloegns are larger than those of halogen atoms. He will present examples where these superions are used to promote unusual chemistry making noble gas atoms form chemical bonds at room temperature, superhalogens forming halogen-free electrolytes in Li-ion batteries, superalkalis as building blocks of new electrides where the electron is completely detached from the host and remain localized pretending to be an anion without a nucleus, superhalogens as building blocks of multiferroic materials, and supersalts capable of enhancing the Curie temperature of 2D materials. The synergy between first principles theory and experiments in advancing our understanding of matter at the nanoscale will be highlighted.

About the Speaker: Dr Puru Jena is a Distinguished Professor of Physics at Virginia Commonwealth University and received his Ph. D. in Physics from the University of California at Riverside. He also served as Program Director at the National Science Foundation and as Jefferson Science Fellow and Senior Science Advisor at the US Department of State. Dr Jena’s research covers a wide range of topics in Nano-structured Materials, Condensed Matter Physics, and Materials Science. These include structure and properties of metals, semiconductors, superconductors, alloys, liquid metals, point and complex defects, surfaces, thin films, atomic clusters, and cluster assembled materials. His current research is focused on three major areas: Structure and properties of nano-clusters and cluster assembled materials (0 D), nanotubes and nanowires (1D) and mono- and multi layered materials (2D) with emphasis on energy storage; electronic, magnetic, and optical properties. Dr Jena is the author of nearly 630 papers including 14 edited books with Google citations and H index at 31,300 and 88, respectively. He has given over 425 invited talks in international conferences and academic institutions in 29 countries around the world and has organized 50 international conferences. He has received over $15 million dollars of funding from federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NASA. His many honours include being the Fellow of the American Physical Society; Outstanding Scientist of Virginia; Outstanding Faculty of Virginia; Presidential Medallion, University Award of Excellence, and Outstanding Scholar from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has served as a member of numerous scientific panels including on the Presidential Commission on bilateral scientific collaboration between USA and Russia.

We welcome you to actively participate in this scholarly lecture series on 19 June 2021 at 5.00 pm (IST). For more details and registration, kindly visit the links given below:

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