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Rebecca Smaha joined NREL as a Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow in 2021, where she is currently investigating novel metastable ternary nitrides for potential multiferroic applications. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and certificates in materials science and engineering and linguistics from Princeton University in 2014, where she researched solid electrolytes for sodium batteries under the guidance of Professor Bob Cava. Rebecca then received a Fulbright grant to perform solid-state chemistry research in Madrid, Spain, under the guidance of Professor Miguel Alario Franco and Professor Susana García Martín at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She did her doctorate in inorganic chemistry at Stanford University in the applied physics lab of Professor Young Lee, focusing on synthetic minerals that are candidates to host a quantum spin liquid ground state due to their magnetically frustrated kagome lattices. She studied the interplay between the crystallography and magnetism of these materials using various X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. 

Research Interests

Solid-state and materials chemistry

Magnetism and magnetic materials

X-ray and neutron scattering


Professional Experience

Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow, NREL (2021–present)

Co-Chair, 2020 and 2022 Gordon Research Seminars: Solid State Chemistry (2020–2022)

Single Crystal Diffractometer Trainer/Interim Crystallographer, Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (2017–2020)

Graduate Research Assistant, Stanford University (2015–2020)

Fulbright Research Grant, Madrid, Spain (2014–2015)

Education/Academic Qualification

Bachelor, Chemistry, Princeton University

PhD, Chemistry, Stanford University

Master, Chemistry, Stanford University


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