Petkov photo

Dr. Valeri Petkov

Contact Information:

232 Dow Hall, Dept. Physics
Phone: (989) 774-3395
Fax: (989)-774-2697
e-mail: petko1vg@

 Research Fields:
  • X-ray/synchrotron diffraction on disordered crystals, nanocrystals, glasses and liquids
  • Computer simulations  
  • Applied crystallography computing

Research Activities:

Properties of materials are predetermined by their atomic-scale structure. For example, diamonds are hard, transparent and expensive. Graphite is black, soft and cheap. Both are pure carbon though; the difference comes from the different arrangament of carbon atoms. It is a tetrahedral network in diamond and a stack of hexagonal layers in graphite. Dr. Petkov's research aims at  determining the 3D atomic-scale structure of materials by x-ray diffraction and computer simulations.  Research is done at CMU and  synchrotron radiation facilities. Mostly, a non-traditional experimental approach, that of atomic pair distribution function analysis, is employed. Traditional crystallography (Rietveld) is done as well. Materials of current interest include glasses (metallic, silicate, phosphate, germanate, fast conductors), liquids (water), polymers (dendrimers),  composites (inorganic/organic),  nanoporous zeolites and carbons, ceramics (titanates, zirconates), catalysts (Mo, Au and Pt based), nanoparticles (metallic and inorganic), data storage media (optical: Ge-Sb-Te; magnetic: Pt/Pd/Fe), disordered ferro and ferri magnets (transition & rare earth metals based), and others. Funding sources include NSF, DoE, ARL and CMU.  
Ru particle
2 nm Ru (red) particle with sulfur (yellow) skin
Latest News: V.P. gave an invited talk at the MRS 2013 Spring meeting; V.P. gave an invited talk in Oxford; V.P. wrote an invited review paper for the Mineralogy Community; Two papers of V.P. are highlighted in the Advanced Photon Source 2012 Annual Report; V.P. became an Editor of AIMS Materials Science....

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