Ray Withers obtained his Ph.D from the University of Melbourne followed by postdocs at the Universities of Toronto and Bristol. He arrived at the ANU in 1986 and has been Professor of Materials Chemistry there since 2004. His research interests lie in the synthesis, structural characterization and crystal chemical understanding of the structures and properties of aperiodic and functional materials. He is particularly interested in compositionally and/or displacively flexible materials whose structures and properties are finely balanced and hence susceptible to alteration via applied external influences.
My research interests lie in the synthesis, structural characterization and crystal chemical understanding of the structure and properties of the inorganic crystalline solid state - in particular of those compositionally and/or displacively flexible inorganic solids which are either strongly polymorphic (i.e. whose structures and properties are finely balanced and hence can be fairly easily altered via influences such as temperature, composition, applied fields or pressure) or that exhibit order which cannot be described using classical crystallographic concepts (such as incommensurately modulated, compositely modulated and quasicrystalline structures as well as many so called random solid solutions). A particular research interest is polar (ferroic) behaviour in the solid state and the exploitable physical properties associated with it such as ferroelectricity, pyroelectricity, piezoelectricity and dielectric behaviour. Systems investigated include flexible framework structures, ferroic materials, dielectric materials, modulated structures, piezoceramics, microporous molecular sieve materials, non-stoichiometric solid solutions, solid ionic conductors and functional electroceramics.