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Extramural Research

Robert D. Shull

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Robert D. Shull received a S.B. in Materials Science from MIT in 1968, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in the same field from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973 and 1976 respectively. His PhD thesis work, in which he discovered the "reversed Curie temperature" phenomenon in Fe70Al30, was instrumental in his recent discovery of “Spin Density Waves” (a phenomenon which had been predicted 40 years ago to exist, but never found) in the same alloy system. After being awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from CALTECH between 1976-1979, he joined the National Bureau of Standards where he initially set up the rapid solidification facility that led to the discovery of "quasicrystals" in 1980. Dr. Shull was also part of the collaboration that prepared the first thin films of a high TC superconductor by the laser ablation process (awarded "Best Paper of the Year" at the Applied Physics Laboratory of JHU), and his field ion microscopy observation of the high TC materials (first ever) was even featured on the cover of Science magazine (Jan. 8, 1988). He was the first to explain the novel “attractable levitation” found in some high TC materials, and he discovered the enhanced magnetocaloric effect in nanocomposites.

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