Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Chaikin, Paul M.
Location New York University
Primary Field Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Field Physics
 Election Citation
Chaikin is a condensed matter physicist who has helped to pioneer high magnetic field research in organic conductors, micro-gravity colloid research, and nanolithography. Through such studies, he has increased our understanding of strongly interacting, many-particle systems.
 Research Interests
I have been studying many aspects of condensed matter physics with an eye toward understanding strongly interacting many particle systems, their cooperative behavior, phases, phase transitions and dynamics. In "hard" condensed matter (quantum physics) my research has centered on the low temperature properties of correlated electrons, particularly organic conductors and superconductors. Here using temperature, magnetic fields, and pressure to control dimensionality and interactions, we contributed to the discovery of many new ground states (e.g. the "Field induced Spin Density Wave / 3 Dimensional Quantum Hall Effect"), and several new forms of Fermi Surface probes and angular dependent magnetotransport. In the area of soft condensed matter physics our research involves the use of model systems to investigate the fundamental physics of crystallization, quasi-periodicity, frustration, particle packing and long range potential and dynamic interactions. Our experiments pioneered the study of colloids in microgravity with insights into crystal nucleation and growth and the glass transition. We have also used diblock copolymer systems in thin films to study the kinetics of two dimensional pattern formation and annealing. We are able to make atomic force microscopy movies which graphically demonstrate the importance of topological defects in the annealing process. Our technological developments of these films have led to a new field, nanolithography with diblock copolymers.

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