Prize Recipient

Soma Chattopadhyay
Elgin Community College




Soma Chattopadhyay did her BS and MS in Physics from University of Calcutta. She obtained her PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India with a GPA of 3.9 under Prof. Manu S. Multani. Her PhD thesis was titled “Effect of Size on the Phase Transition in Oxide Materials”. After completing her postdoctoral fellowships at NWU, NCSU and NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures at Greensboro, NC, she started working for Illinois Institute of Technology as beamline staff scientist at an insertion device beamline (10-ID) of the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. Here, she learnt EXAFS (extended X-ray absorption fine structure) and XANES (X-ray absorption near edge structure) spectroscopy and used these techniques to study nanomaterials. At this national user facility, she helped users from all over USA and various other countries of this world to obtain spectroscopy data and helped in data analysis. Soma is interested in synthesis and characterization of nanoparticles and thin films using advanced techniques. She specializes in structure-property correlations in functional nanomaterials and uses synchrotron radiation based experiments to predict pathways for synthesizing novel materials for various applications. She has collaborated with researchers and professors from various divisions of ANL, UofC, UIC, IIT, Rice University, UNT and several other university from across USA and from other countries like UK, S. Korea, Canada and India. Soma has more than 80 publications in journals like Science, Nano Lett, PRL, PRB, ACS Nano, JACS etc. Presently, she teaches Physics and Engineering at Elgin Community College in Elgin, IL and continues her collaborative research work. Along with research and teaching, Soma also enjoys travelling, music, reading biographies and doing community work.