Nancy Ross

Virginia Tech

Nancy Ross is a Professor and the head of the Geosciences Department at Virginia Tech. Her research explores structure/property relations of framework materials at high pressure using a combination of x-ray and neutron diffraction and spectroscopic methods, including inelastic neutron scattering (INS). Such studies are needed to reveal variations in local structure and dynamical behavior that give rise to the unusual physical properties of porous materials of interest, including phase transitions, negative thermal expansion, negative linear compressibility and pressure-induced amorphization. High pressure methods are also used to tune the pore size, shape and therefore selectivity of porous materials, including uptake of guest molecules. Spectroscopic methods also provide a powerful complementary method to explore mechanisms and phenomena such as gate opening, phase transitions, etc. INS measurements are also used to determine a complete vibrational density of states from which the thermodynamic properties of the phase are determined. Alternatively, the lattice contribution to the heat capacity are inverted to give the main features in the phonon density of states, and appropriate energies are selected in INS experiments to focus on specific lattice mode as well as modes associated with guest molecules (adsorbates) and guest-host interactions.