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  • Svilen Bobev, Professor

    University of Delaware
    304A Drake Hall
    Newark, DE 19716
    (302) 831-8720


    (b. 1972) B.S./M.S., 1995, University of Sofia; Ph.D., 2002, University of Notre Dame; Postdoctoral, 2002 – 2004, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Current Research

    The work in the Bobev research group addresses important issues related to the understanding of the relationships among the composition, structure, and electronic structure in complex intermetallic compounds and their properties. Our efforts are currently focused in two research directions, both of which cut across the traditional boundaries of the science disciplines – synthetic inorganic chemistry, theoretical chemistry, condensed-matter physics, X-ray crystallography, and materials science. 

    The first project (Structural relationships and magnetism in compounds of the lanthanide elements) is aimed at studying the fundamental chemistry and physics of new intermetallics that can be dubbed for short “magnetic materials”. They have implications that stretch far beyond magnetism and into superconductivity, and although much research has already been done in this field, still surprisingly little is known about the basic principles, which make magnetic and superconductive materials behave as such. With this motivation in mind, our general long-term goal here is the discovery of classes of new lanthanide-based intermetallic compounds with unusual magnetic and electronic properties. We seek to develop a rationale for finding new magnetic materials and for the effective optimization of existing ones that is not based empirical tenets, but instead, relies on understanding the principles governing the structures and properties.

    The second project in the Bobev group is motivated by two of the greatest challenges of our time – energy beyond fossil fuels and environment. We recently embarked on this new endeavor, Novel compounds for thermoelectric applications, recognizing that the technologies based on thermoelectricity are environmentally benign and have the potential for widespread applications; however, they are not yet part of the everyday life because of their low efficiency. This limitation, in essence, is a result of the unsatisfactory properties of almost all currently available materials. From the standpoint of synthetic chemists, we see both a societal need and a scientific opportunity to contribute to this area by synthesizing fundamentally new materials with higher thermoelectric efficiency. We believe a breakthrough can be achieved by bringing together (in one material) the desirable heat and charge transport properties of the semiconducting Zintl phase and the magnetism and the correlated electron behavior, which are signatures of the d- or ƒ-elements. Our approach builds upon rationally designed syntheses, coupled with thorough and systematic structural studies and property measurements.

    Representative Publications

    • H. He, R. Stearrett, E. R. Nowak and S. Bobev "BaGa2Pn2 (Pn = P, As)—New Semiconducting Phosphides and Arsenides with Layered Structures," J. Inorg. Chem., (2010) 49, 5173.
    • T.-S. You and S. Bobev "Synthesis and Structural Characterization of A3In2Ge4 and A5In3Ge6 (A = Ca, Sr, Eu, Yb)—New Intermetallic Compounds with Complex Structures, Exhibiting Ge–Ge and In–In Bonding," J. Solid State Chem., (2010) 183, 1258.
    • B. Saparov and S. Bobev "Isolated [ZnPn2]4– Chains in the Zintl Phases Ba2ZnPn2 (Pn = As, Sb, Bi) — Synthesis, Structure and Bonding," Inorg. Chem., (2010) 49, 5173.
    • B. Saparov, H. He, H. Zhang, R. Greene and S. Bobev "Synthesis, Crystallographic and Theoretical Studies of the New Zintl Phases Ba2Cd2Pn3 (Pn = As, Sb), and the Solid Solutions (Ba1–xSrx)2Cd2Sb3 and Ba2Cd2(Sb1–xAsx)3," Dalton Trans., (2010) 39, 1063.
    • P. H. Tobash, S. Bobev, J. D. Thompson and J. L. Sarrao "Magnesium Substitutions in Rare-Earth Metal Germanides with the Gd5Si4 Type. Synthesis, Crystal Chemistry and Magnetic Properties of RE5–xMgxGe4 (RE = Tb, Dy, Ho, Y)," Inorg. Chem., (2009) 48, 6641.
    • S.-Q. Xia, C. Myers and S. Bobev "Combined Experimental and Density Functional Theory Studies on the Crystal Structures and Magnetic Properties of Mg(Mg1–xMnx)2Sb2(x ≤ 0.25) and BaMn2Sb2," Eur. J. Inorg. Chem., (2008) 4262.
    • S.-Q. Xia and S. Bobev "An Interplay Between Size and Electronic Effects in Determining the Homogeneity Range of the A9Zn4+xPn9 and A9Cd4+xPn9 Phases (0 ≤ x ≤ 0.5), A = Ca, Sr, Yb, Eu; Pn = Sb, Bi," J. A m. Chem. Soc., (2007) 129, 10019.



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  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 102 Brown Laboratory
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1247
  • Undergraduate Program Inquiries 302-831-2465