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Alexandra Navrotsky was educated at the Bronx High School of Science and the University of Chicago (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in physical chemistry). After postdoctoral work in Germany and at Penn State University, she joined the faculty in chemistry at Arizona State University, where she remained until her move to the Department of Geological and Geophysical Sciences at Princeton University in 1985. She chaired that department from 1988 to 1991 and was active in the Princeton Materials Institute. In 1997, she became an interdisciplinary professor of ceramic, earth, and environmental materials chemistry at the University of California at Davis and was appointed Edward Roessler Chair in Mathematical and Physical Sciences in 2001. She served as interim dean of the University of California Davis College of Letters and Sciences Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences from 2013 to 2017. She organized the NEAT (Nano and New Materials in Energy, the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology) research group in 2002 and has directed the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory since her arrival in 1997.
Her research interests have centered about relating microscopic features of structure and bonding to macroscopic thermodynamic behavior in minerals, ceramics, and other complex materials. She has made major contributions to both mineralogy/geochemistry and to solid state chemistry/materials science in the fields of ceramics, mantle mineralogy and deep earth geophysics, melt and glass science, nanomaterials and porous materials. She has developed unique high temperature calorimetric techniques and instruments and her laboratory the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory, collaborates with scientists all over the world.
Honors include an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (1973); Mineralogical Society of America Award (1981); American Geophysical Union Fellow (1988); Vice-President, Mineralogical Society of America (1991-1992), President (1992-1993); Geochemical Society Fellow (1997). She spent five years (1986-1991) as Editor, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, and serves on numerous advisory committees and panels in both government and academe. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993. In 1995 she received the Ross Coffin Purdy Award from the American Ceramic Society and was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from Uppsala University, Sweden. In 2002 she was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth Science. In 2004, she was elected a Fellow of The Mineralogical Society (Great Britain) and awarded the Urey Medal (the highest career honor of the European Association of Geochemistry). In 2005, she received the Spriggs Phase Equilibria Award. In 2006, she received the Harry H. Hess Medal of the American Geophysical Union. In October 2009, she received the Roebling Medal (the highest honor of the Mineralogical Society of America). In 2011, she became a member of the American Philosophical Society. In 2016 she received the Victor M. Goldschmidt Award from the Geochemical Society and the W. David Kingery Award from the American Ceramic Society. The World Academy of Ceramics elected Prof. Navrotsky to Science Professional Member in 2017.
Recently, a newly discovered mineral K2Na10(UO2)3(SO4)9·2H2O was named Navrotskyite in her honor.
Selected papers from her 947 publications
"The Thermodynamics of Cation Distributions in Simple Spinels,” A. Navrotsky and O. J. Kleppa, J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem., 29, 2701-2714 (1967).
"Thermodynamics of Formation of Simple Spinels,” A. Navrotsky and O. J. Kleppa, J. Inorg. Nucl. Chem., 30, 479-498 (1968).
"Olivine-Modified Spinel-Spinel Transitions in the System Mg2SiO4-Fe2SiO4: Calorimetric Measurements, Thermochemical Calculations, and Geophysical Application,” M. Akaogi, E. Ito, and A. Navrotsky, J. Geophys. Res., 94, 15671-15685 (1989).
"Negative Pressure-Temperature Slopes for Reactions Forming MgSiO3 Perovskite from Calorimetry,” E. Ito, M. Akaogi, L. Topor, and A. Navrotsky, Science, 249, 1275-1278 (1990).
"Thermochemical Study of the Stability of Frameworks in High Silica Zeolites,” I. Petrovic, A. Navrotsky, M. E. Davis, and S. I. Zones, Chem. Mater., 5, 1805-1813 (1993).
"Energetics of Radiation Damage in Natural Zircon (ZrSiO4),” S. Ellsworth, A. Navrotsky, and R. C. Ewing, Phys. Chem. Min., 21, 140-149 (1994).
“Surface Energies and Thermodynamic Phase Stability in Nanocrystalline Aluminas,” J. M. McHale, A. Auroux, A. J. Perrotta, and A. Navrotsky, Science, 277, 788-791 (1997).
“A Lesson from Ceramics,” A. Navrotsky, Science, 284, 1788-1789 (1999).
“Silicon Nitride: Enthalpy of Formation of the α- and β-Polymorphs and the Effect of C and O Impurities,” J.-J. Liang, L. Topor, A. Navrotsky, and M. Mitomo, J. Mater. Res., 14, 1959-1968 (1999).
C. Laberty, S. L. Suib, and A. Navrotsky, Chem. Mater., 12, 1660-1665 (2000).
"Thermochemistry of Pure-Silica Zeolites,” P. M. Piccione, C. Laberty, S. Yang, M. A. Camblor, A. Navrotsky, and M. E. Davis, J. Phys. Chem. B, 104, 10001-10011 (2000).
"Possible Presence of High-pressure Ice in Cold Subducting Slabs,” C. R. Bina and A. Navrotsky, Nature, 408, 844-847 (2000).
"Vitreous Forsterite (Mg2SiO4): Synthesis, Structure, and Thermochemistry, ,” J. A. Tangeman, B. L. Phillips, A. Navrotsky, J. K. R. Weber, A. D. Hixson, and T. S. Key, Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 2517-2520, (2001).
“In Situ Calorimetric Study of the Growth of Silica TPA-MFI Crystals from an Initially Clear Solution,” S. Y. Yang and A. Navrotsky, Chem. Mater., 14, 2803-2811 (2002).
“Thermodynamic and Structural Aspects of the Polyamorphic Transition in Yttrium and Other Rare-earth Aluminate Liquids,” M. C. Wilding, P. F. McMillan, and A. Navrotsky, Physica A, 314, 379-390 (2002).
“Enthalpy of Formation of Cubic Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia,” T. A. Lee, A. Navrotsky, and I. Molodetsky, J. Mater. Res., 18, 908-918 (2003).
“Stability of Peroxide-containing Uranyl Minerals,” K.-A. Hughes Kubatko, K. B. Helean, A. Navrotsky, and P. C. Burns, Science, 302, 1191-1193 (2003).
“Energetic Clues to Pathways to Biomineralization: Precursors, Clusters, and Nanoparticles,” A. Navrotsky, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 101, 12096-12101 (2004).
“Thermodynamically Stable SixOyCz Polymer-Like Amorphous Ceramics,” T. Varga, A. Navrotsky, J. L. Moats, R. M. Morcos, F. Poli, K. Müller, A. Saha, and R. Raj, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 90, 3213-3219 (2007).
“Size-Driven Structural and Thermodynamic Complexity in Iron Oxides,” A. Navrotsky, L. Mazeina, and J. Majzlan, Science, 319, 1635-1638 (2008).
“Thermochemistry of Microporous and Mesoporous Materials” A. Navrotsky, O. Trofymluk, and A. Levchenko, Chem. Rev., 109, 3885-3902 (2009).
“Nanophase Transition Metal Oxides Show Large Thermodynamically Driven Shifts in Oxidation-Reduction Equilibria,” A. Navrotsky, C. Ma, K. Lilova, and N. Birkner, Science, 330, 199-201 (2010).
“MOF-5: Enthalpy of Formation and Energy Landscape of Porous Materials,” J. Hughes and A. Navrotsky, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 133, 9184-9187 (2011).
“Nuclear Fuel in a Reactor Accident,” P. Burns, R. Ewing, and A. Navrotsky, Science, 335, 1184 (2012).
“Little Thermodynamic Penalty for Synthesis of Ultraporous Metal Organic Frameworks,” Z. Akimbekov and A. Navrotsky, Chem. Phys. Chem. 17, 468-470 (2016).
“Direct Calorimetric Verification of Thermodynamic Instability of Lead Halide Perovskites,” G. P. Nagabhushana, R. Shivaramaiah, and A. Navrotsky, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 113, 7717-7721 (2016).
“A Combined Experimental and Theoretical Study of Enthalpy of Phase Transition and Fusion of Yttria Above 2000 °C Using ‘Drop-n-Catch’ Calorimetry and First-Principles Calculations,” D. Kapush, S. V. Ushakov, A. Navrotsky, Q. Hong, H. Liu and A. van de Walle, Acta Mater., 124, 204-209 (2017).
“Hot Matters – Experimental Methods for High-Temperature Property Measurement,” A. Navrotsky and S. V. Ushakov, Am. Ceram. Soc. Bull., 96, 22-28 (2017).
“Experimental and Theoretical Evaluation of the Stability of True MOF Polymorphs Explains Their Mechanochemical Interconversions,” Z. Akimbekov, A. Katsenis, G. Nagabhushana, G. Ayoub, M. Arhangelskis, A. Morris, T. Friščic, A. Navrotsky, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139, 7952-7957 (2017)
“Thermodynamic and Structural Evolution of Dy2Ti2O7 Pyrochlore after Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation,” C-K. Chung, J. Shamblin, E. O'Quinn, A. Shelyug, I. Gussev, M. K. Lang, and A. Navrotsky, Acta Mater., 145, 227-234 (2018).
“Structural and Thermodynamic Limits of Layer Thickness in 2D Halide Perovskites” C.M.M. Soe, G.P. Nagabhushana, R. Shivaramaia, H. Tsai, W. Nie, J.C. Blancon, F. Melkonyan, D.H. Cao, B. Traoré, L. Pedesseau, M. Kepenekian, C. Katan, J. Even, T.J. Marks, A. Navrotsky, A.D. Mohite, C.C. Stoumpos, M.G. Kanatzidis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 116, 58-66 (2019).
“Thermodynamics of Reaction between Gas-Turbine Ceramic Coatings and Ingested CMAS Corrodents,” G.C.C. Costa, B.J. Harder, V.L. Wiesner, D. Zhu, N. Bansal, K.N. Lee, N.S. Jacobson, D. Kapush, S.V. Ushakov, A. Navrotsky, J. Am. Ceram. Soc., 102, 2948-2964 (2019).