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Russell Hemley’s group broadly explores the behavior of matter and materials in extreme environments, notably high pressures and temperatures. These topics include transformations of hydrogen at multimegabar pressures; novel high-pressure compound formation and pressure-induced chemical reactions in molecular systems; synthesis and characterization of new superhard materials, superconductors, and magnetic materials; pressure-induced amorphization; the effects of pressure on amorphous solids; the rational design of new high-pressure materials from first-principles methods; models for Earth and planetary interiors; fabrication of single crystal diamond by chemical vapor deposition; development of high-pressure methods and analytical techniques such as micro-optical spectroscopy, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, synchrotron x-ray diffraction and spectroscopy, laser heating, magnetic susceptibility, electrical conductivity, and high-pressure cryogenic methods; science issues related to national security.

Russell Hemley holds the position of LAS Distinguished Chair in the Natural Sciences at the University of Illinois Chicago and has appointments in the Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Earth and Environmental Sciences. He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University, all in chemistry. Previously, he worked at the Carnegie Institution and has held positions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Cornell University, and George Washington University. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Honoris Causa Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and is a recipient of the Balzan Prize and Percy W. Bridgman Award, among other honors. He has directed national materials science centers funded by the DOE and DoD, and has served on numerous DOE, DoD, and other committees. He is also a member, and is a former Chair, of the JASON Advisory Group.