Department of Chemistry
Alison Altman

Alison Altman
Assistant Professor

Contact
Department of Chemistry
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-3255

aaltman@mit.edu

Current Activities

New materials are crucial for addressing challenges in energy transport and information storage. Our research group aims to discover new inorganic materials by looking at underexplored regions of the Periodic Table in alternative ways.

Topics of focus include:

  • Using high-pressure conditions (equivalent to those found in the interior of planets) to promote chemistry between metals that do not interact under ambient conditions
  • Accessing novel electron rich f-element materials and complexes to elucidate bonding and electronic structure underpinning quantum properties

By employing a multimodal approach combining synthesis with spectroscopic characterization and computational prediction methods, we seek to crack open the black box of solid-state synthesis. We expect these systems to exhibit exotic behaviors such as superconductivity, magnetic ordering and topological character. Identification of the underlying chemical principles responsible for controlling fragile quantum states will reveal generalizable design criteria for accessing the next generation of advanced materials.

We are seeking students interested in high-pressure science, developing new solid-state and molecular f-element and heavy-main group element chemistry, and electronic structure elucidation methods, including synchrotron X-ray techniques.

Educational Background

Postdoctoral researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022

Postdoctoral researcher, Northwestern University, 2017-2021

Ph.D. Chemistry University of California, Berkeley, 2017

B.S. Chemistry Yale University, 2012

Awards & Recognition

  • Nuclear Energy University Program Fellow, 2013-2016
  • International Institute of Nanotechnology Fellow, 2017-2018

Selected Publications

  • Altman, A.B.; Tamerius, A.D.; Koocher, N.Z.; Meng, Y.; Pickard, C.; Walsh, J.P.S.; Rondinelli, J.M.; Jacobsen, S.D.; Freedman, D.E. "Computationally Directed Discovery of MoBi2." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021, 143, 214-222. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c09419.
  • Altman, A.B.; Brown, A.C.; Rao, G.; Lohrey, T.D.; Britt, R.D.; Maron, L.; Minasian. S.G.; Shuh, D.K.; Arnold, J; "Chemical Structure and Bonding in a Thorium(III)–Aluminum Heterobimetallic Complex." Chem. Sci. 2018, 9, 4317-4324. https://doi.org/10.1039/C8SC01260A.
  • Altman, A.B.; Pemmaraju, C.D.; Camp, C.; Arnold, J.; Minasian, S.G.; Prendergast, D.; Shuh, D.K.; Tyliszczak, T.; "Theory and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy for Aluminum Coordination Complexes: Al K-edge Studies of Charge and Bonding in (BDI)Al, (BDI)AlR2 and (BDI)AlX2 Complexes." J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 10304-10316. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.5b05854.