Solid-State Chemistry: A A Rediscovered Chemical Frontier

Science  09 Feb 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4943, pp. 649-655
DOI: 10.1126/science.247.4943.649


Chemical bonding in solids is not completely understood, mainly because of the wide variation in the chemical properties of the elements. Many difficult challenges remain in predicting the composition, structure, and the properties of new materials. Consequently, the synthesis of novel solids is as much an art as a science. Discoveries of new compounds and structure types highlight the versatility that nature has allowed with the relatively small number of elements. This article explores the long-term challenges in solid-state chemistry and then focuses on efforts at Cornell to prepare new solids.