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Alexandra Navrotsky

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Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1604
Professor and Director of the Center for Materials of the Universe
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1604
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1604

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.


  • Ph.D. Physical Chemistry, The University of Chicago 1967 
  • M.S. Physical Chemistry, The University of Chicago 1964
  • B.S. Physical Chemistry, The University of Chicago 1963

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).

"Energetics of Formation and Disordering in Rare Earth Weberite RE3TaO7 Materials," T. Subramani, A. Navrotsky, Inorganic Chemistry, 58, 23, 16126-16133 (2019).

“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).

"Avalanches during recrystallization in radiation-damaged pyrochlore and allanite: Statistical similarity to phase transitions in functional materials," Beirau, T., Shelyug, A., Navrotsky, A., Poellmann, H., Salje, E.K H., Applied Physics Letters, 115 (2019).

"Energetic insights into the crystallization of lanthanum carbonate amorphous precursors," Koryttseva, A., Navrotsky, A.  Thermochimica Acta, 688 (2020).

"Hydration structure and water exchange kinetics at xenotime-water interfaces: implications for rare earth minerals separation," Roy, S. Wu, L., Srinivasan, S.G., Stack, A.G., Navrotsky, A., Bryantsev, V.S.  Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 22, 7719-7727 (2020).

"In Situ High-Temperature Synchrotron Diffraction Studies of (Fe,Cr,Al)(3)O-4 Spinels," Agca, C., Neuefeind, J.C., McMurray, J.W., Liu, J., Benmore, C.J., Weber, R.J.K., Navrotsky, A.  Inorganic Chemistry, 59 (2020).

"Melting temperature measurement of refractory oxide ceramics as a function of oxygen fugacity using containerless methods," Agca, C., Neuefeind, J.C., McMurray, J.W., Weber, R., Navrotsky, A.  Journal of American Ceramic Society (2020).

"Thermochemistry of cation disordered Li ion battery cathode materials, Li1+xMx ' M1-2x '' O-2 (M ' = Nb and Ta, M '' = Mn and Fe)," Subramani, T., Navrotsky, A.  RSC Advances, 10, 6540-6546 (2020).

"Thermochemistry of rare earth oxyhydroxides, REOOH (RE = Eu to Lu)," Yang, S.H., Powell, M., Kolis, J.W., Navrotsky, A.  Journal of Solid State Chemistry, 287 (2020).

"Thermodynamic assessment of BaO-Ln(2)O(3) (Ln = La, Pr, Eu, Gd, Er) systems," Gong, W., Liu, Y., Xie, Y., Zhao, Z., Ushakov, S.V., Navrotsky, A.  Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 103, 3896-3904 (2020).

"Thermodynamic Evidence of Structural Transformations in CO2-Loaded Metal-Organic Framework Zn(MeIm)(2) from Heat Capacity Measurements," Rosen, P.F., Dickson, M.S., Calvin, J., Ross, N.L., Friscic, T., Navrotsky, A., Woodfield, B.F.  Journal of the American Chemical Society, 142, 4833-4841 (2020).

"Thermodynamic Studies of Bromide Incorporation into Cesium Lead Iodide (CsPbI3)," Wang, B., Navrotsky, A.  Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 124, 8639-8642 (2020).

"Formation and energetics of amorphous rare earth (RE) carbonates in the RE2O3-CO2-H2O system," Koryttseva, A., Navrotsky, A.  Thermochimica Acta, 692 (2020).

"Enthalpies of formation of high entropy and multicomponent alloys using oxide melt solution calorimetry," Hayun, S., Lilova, K., Salhov, S., Navrotsky, A.  Intermetallics, 125 (2020).

"Disorder in Ho2Ti2-xZrxO7: pyrochlore to defect fluorite solid solution series," Drey, D.L., O'Quinn, E.C., Subramani, T., Lilova, K., Baldinozzi, G., Gussev, I.M., Fuentes, A.F., Neuefeind, J.C., Everett, M., Sprouster, D., Navrotsky, A., Ewing, R.C., Lang, M.  RSC Advances, 10, 57, 34632-34650 (2020).

"Experimental and computational studies of melting of the spinel phase in the Fe-Al-O ternary system," Agca, C.,, Lindwall, G., McMurray, J.W., Neuefeind, J.C., Liu, Z-K, Navrotsky, A.  Calphad-Computer Coupling of Phase Diagrams and Thermochemistry, 70 (2020).

"Development of high-temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry for p-block element containing materials," Abramchuk, M., Lilova, K., Subramani, T., Yoo, R., Navrotsky, A.  Journal of Materials Research, 35, 16, 2239-2246 (2020).

"A Synergistic Approach to Unraveling the Thermodynamic Stability of Binary and Ternary Chevrel Phase Sulfides," Lilova, K., Perryman, J.T., Singstock, N.R., Abramchuk, M., Subramani, Tamilarasan., Lam, A., Yoo, R., Ortiz-Rodriguez, J.C., Musgrave, C.B., Navrotsky, A., Velazquez, J.M.  Chemistry of Materials, 32, 16, 7044-7051 (2020).

"Conductivity, structure, and thermodynamics of Y2Ti2O7-Y3NbO7 solid solutions," Winiarz, P., Mielewczyk-Gryn, A., Lilova, K., Wachowski, S., Subramani, T., Abramchuk, M., Dzik, E., Navrotsky, A., Gazda, M.  Dalton Transactions, 49, 31, 10839-10850 (2020).

"Energetics of CO(2)and H2O adsorption on alkaline earth metal doped TiO2," da Silva, A.L., Wu, L., Caliman, L.B., Castro, R.H.R., Navrotsky, A., Gouvea, D.  Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 22, 27, 15600-15607 (2020).

"Thermal Analysis of High Entropy Rare Earth Oxides," Ushakov, S.V., Hayun, S.,; Gong, W., Navrotsky, A.  Materials, 13, 14 (2020).

"Entropy Stabilization of TiO2-Nb2O5 Wadsley-Roth Shear Phases and Their Prospects for Lithium-Ion Battery Anode Materials," Voskanyan, A.A., Abramchuk, M., Navrotsky, A.  Chemistry of Materials, 32, 12, 5301-5308 (2020).

"Thermodynamics Drives the Stability of the MOF-74 Family in Water," Voskanyan, A.A., Goncharov, V.G., Novendra, N., Guo, X., Navrotsky, A.  ACS Omgeda, 5, 22, 13158-13163 (2020).

Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
MSE 792Research
CHE 792Research
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
CHM 501Current Topics in Chemistry
Honors / Awards: 
  • 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 
  • Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, editor 1986-1991
  • National Academy of Sciences, Fellow 1993.
  • Ross Coffin Purdy Award, American Ceramic Society 1995
  • Doctor Honoris Causa, Uppsala University, Sweden 1995
  • Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth Science 2002
  • The Mineralogical Society (Great Britain), Fellow 2004
  • Urey Medal (the highest career honor of the European Association of Geochemistry) 2004
  • Spriggs Phase Equilibria Award 2005
  • Harry H. Hess Medal, American Geophysical Union 2006
  • Roebling Medal (the highest honor of the Mineralogical Society of America) 2009
  • American Philosophical Society 2011
  • Victor M. Goldschmidt Award, Geochemical Society 2016
  • W. David Kingery Award, American Ceramic Society 2016
  • World Academy of Ceramics, Science Professional Member 2017