Prize Recipient

Robert Cava

Robert Cava
Princeton University


"For enabling significant advances in the field of topological materials by recognizing, discovering and fabricating novel compounds, and demonstrating with collaborators that such materials show the expected exotic topological properties."


Robert Cava is the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, where he was Associate Director of the Materials Institute from 1999 to 2001, and Chair of the Chemistry Department from 2004 to 2010. His research emphasizes the relationships between chemistry, bonding, crystal structure, and the electronic and magnetic properties of non-molecular solids. The solid state chemistry of quantum materials (e.g. superconductors, magnetic materials, thermoelectrics, topological insulators, Dirac and Weyl semimetals, geometrically frustrated magnets, and correlated electron systems) is of particular interest. He began at Princeton in 1997 after working at Bell Laboratories for 17 years, where he was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in the Department of Solid State Chemistry. He received his Ph.D. in Ceramics from MIT in 1978, after which he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He has served on international award and evaluation committees, been the recipient of teaching and mentoring awards, and is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He is an avid amateur astronomer.

Selection Committee:

2021 Selection Committee Members: Vivien Zapf (Chair), Chang Beom Eom ('20 Recipient), Arun Bansil, Rachel Goldman, Chung-ning (Jeannie) Lau