Gordie Miller's Research Group

Research Summary of the Miller Group at ISU

NOTE: Effective 2019, Prof. Miller is no longer accepting post-doctoral researchers or graduate students.  He will consider being a co-advisor for graduate students with other faculty in the Chemistry Department upon request and further discussion.

The major goal of our research has been to identify new inorganic materials that show potentially interesting chemical and physical properties by coupling theoretical efforts with experimental approaches. For many years, we concentrated on intermetallic compounds because not only are they well suited for combined theoretical/experimental investigations, but they offer fundamental challenges towards fundamental understanding of the relationships among chemical composition, atomic structure, physical properties and chemical bonding. We have studied a variety of compound-types, but the primary theme has been to elucidate the factors influencing the distributions and arrangements of chemical elements in complex structures: the so-called “coloring problem.” That is, we examined the question, "Where are the atoms?". We developed a successful algorithm, based on tight-binding theory, to predict patterns of atomic distributions in intermetallic compounds, and demonstrated the need to combine careful synthesis with thorough diffraction and spectroscopic methods to characterize complex materials.