R. B. Van Dover

Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering


R. Bruce van Dover received his Ph.D. degree (1980) in Applied Physics from Stanford University following a B.S. degree (1974) in Electrical Engineering/Engineering Physics from Princeton University. He then joined Bell Laboratories, (Murray Hill, NJ) where he conducted basic research in the science and technology of superconducting, magnetic, and electronic materials and devices. In 2002 he joined Cornell University as a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering to more fully engage his interest in undergraduate and graduate education He has been highly productive during his career with over 250 research publications, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles, and 69 US and foreign Patents. He has lectured on these materials in Europe, Japan, and across the US at many universities and topical conferences, as well as for general audiences. His leadership role is evidenced by the over 13,000 citations to his work, with an h-index of 50 (i.e., 50 publications with at least 50 citations). His research currently focusses on synthesis and characterization of thin films, developing and using high-throughput techniques for the discovery of ionic conductors, fuel cell catalysts and other energy-related materials. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Research Interests

* UHF properties of magnetic thin films * Synthesis and characterization of novel optical materials (nonlinear materials, thin film gain media, etc.) * Characterization of nanometer-scale materials: superconductors, dielectrics, and magnetic materials * Electronic phase diagrams determined by induced surface charges rather than chemical doping * Composition-spread approach to parallelized synthesis/characterization of materials, including novel catalysts for direct-methanol fuel cell anodes.

Selected Publications

  • LeBras, R., R. Bernstein, C. P. Gomes, B. Selman, Robert B. Van Dover.  2015.  “Crowdsourcing Backdoor Identification for Combinatorial Optimization.”  Proceedings of the 23rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
  • Gregoire, J M., M E. Tague, S. Cahen, S. Khan, H D. Abruna, F J. DiSalvo, Robert B. Van Dover.  2010. “Improved Fuel Cell Oxidation Catalysis in Pt1-xTax.”  Chemistry of Materials.
  • Van Dover, Robert B., L. D. Schneemeyer, R. M. Fleming.  1998. “Discovery of a useful thin-film dielectric using a composition-spread approach.”  Nature 392 (6672): 162-164.
  • Van Dover, Robert B., R J. Cava, B. Batlogg, E A Rietman.  1987. “Composition-dependent superconductivity in La2-xSrxCuO4.”  Physics Review B35: 5337.
  • Cava, R J., B. Batlogg, Robert B. Van Dover, D W. Murphy, S. Sunshine, T. Siegrist, J P. Remeika, E A. Rietman, S. Zahurak, G P Espinosa. 1987. “Bulk Superconductivity at 91 K in Single-Phase Oxygen-Deficient Perovskite Ba2YCu3O9-d.”  Physics Review Letters 58: 1676.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow (American Physical Society) 1999
  • Eta Kappa Nu Member 2015
  • Senior Member (IEEE) 1995
  • “Highly Cited–Physics”. Ranked 29th in the world for the period 1981 – 1997. (Thomson ISI)
  • More than 30 patents issued.


  • BS (Engineering/Engineering Physics), Princeton University, 1974
  • MA (Applied Physics), Stanford University, 1975
  • Ph D (Physics), Stanford University, 1980