Joyce Pham

Humboldt Fellow August 2019 - July 2020

Professional Aspiration:

Joyce's career goal is to achieve a balance in research and teaching, both in the classroom and in the research group that she would like to establish, Solid-State Chemistry Phamily.


With funding from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and generous provision from the Solid-State Chemistry Department at MPI-CPfS, Joyce and undergraduate/visiting students learning about research in the Solid-State Chemistry Phamily focus on four main aspects of solid-state science, summarized in the tetrahedral figure as shown. In collaboration with members of the Felser Department and colleagues of MPI-CPfS, we answer the following: (1) how do I synthesize extended solids in the lab; what techniques can be applied to attain either a new compound or optimize the synthesis of a known compound? (2) where are the atoms in the extended solids that I synthesized using diffraction techniques? (3) what gives rise to the atomic structural arrangements based on how the electrons interact among one another (i.e., electronic structures) using computational quantum-mechanical methods? and (4) what interesting observed/measured physical and chemical properties arise? For topologically nontrivial materials, how can we rationalize the phenomena by examining topology of the electronic band structures? The goal of Joyce in the Solid-State Chemistry Phamily is to combine these four aspects to answer the overarching question: what common principles can we derive to rationalize the relationships among chemical compositions (via directed synthesis of inorganic solids), the resulting atomic crystal structures (via diffraction), their electronic structures (via quantum mechanical computational tools), and the observed chemical/physical properties?

Selected Publications:

Bindi, L.; Pham, J.; Steinhardt, P.J. “Previously Unknown Quasicrystal Periodic Approximant Found in Space.” Scientific Reports 2018 (8), 16271, 1–7.

Pham, J.; Miller, G.J. “AAuAl (A = Ca, Sc, and Ti): Peierls Distortion,   Atomic Coloring, and Structural Competition.” Inorganic Chemistry 2018 57   (7), 4039–4049.

Pham, J.; Meng, F.; Lynn, M.J.; Ma, T.; Kreyssig, A.; Kramer, M.J.; Goldman, A.I.; Miller, G.J. “From Quasicrystals to Crystals with Interpenetrating Icosahedra in Ca–Au–Al: In Situ Variable-Temperature   Transformation.” Journal of the   American Chemical Society 2018 140   (4), 1337–1347.

Pham, J.; Kreyssig, A.; Goldman, A.I.; Miller, G.J. “An Icosahedral Quasicrystal and its 1/0 Crystalline Approximant in the Ca–Au–Al System.” Inorganic Chemistry 2016 55   (20), 10425–10437.

Pak, C.; Kamali, S.; Pham, J.; Lee, K.; Greenfield, J.T.; Kovnir, K. “Chemical Excision of Tetrahedral FeSe2 Chains from the Superconductor FeSe: Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Magnetism of Fe3Se4(en)2.” Journal of the American Chemical Society 2013 135 (51), 19111–19114.

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