is due to the excellent interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of much of the work, especially in industrial laboratories. In some cases it would be reasonable to have physical measurements available in a solid-state synthesis group. In others, collaborators in other groups or fields and at industrial and government laboratories could suffice. However, individual egos, university organizational structure, tenure procedures, and funding usually work against such collaborative arrangements. Other creative possibilities for encouraging the growth of solid-state synthesis have been proposed by the Solid State Sciences Committee of the National Research Council and more are needed.


The synthesis of new solid-state compounds in the United States has been a neglected field for decades. Rather, this country has focused on discovering new or enhanced properties in materials previously discovered—primarily in Europe. The high quality of such research in Europe, coupled with new interdisciplinary group organization and the emerging emphasis on new materials in Japan, makes it unlikely that the United States will continue to be the first to discover new properties or uses of materials. To maintain our position, it is imperative that the United States build a first-rate scientific presence in novel solid-state synthesis.

The greatest scientific and technological impact of this effort will occur only with strong interaction between synthesizers and characterizes; that is, this should be an interdisciplinary research activity. The field of artificially structured materials, as typified by the MBE growth of semiconductors, is by comparison strong and robust. Challenges posed by the shortage of scientists trained in the field as well as a slow translation of research results into production can best be overcome by sharing and coordinating academic, industrial, and government resources in a national collaborative effort. Failure to do so could well result in Japanese companies dominating the technology that will most likely be the basis of advanced electronic devices in the twenty-first century, or probably even in the 1990s.



A.Y.Cho and Arthur C.Gossard (molecular beam epitaxy), AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.; John Corbett (solid-state chemistry), Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University of Science and Technology; Frank Y.Fradin (superconductivity, transport props), Materials Sciences and Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.; M.Brian Maple (superconductivity, magnetism), Department of Physics, University of California, La Jolla; and Stephen von Molnar (physics of rare-earth compounds), Thomas J.Watson Research Center, IBM Corp., Yorktown Heights, N.Y.


J.L.Warren and T.H.Geballe, “Research opportunities in new energy-related materials,”

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