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David B. Zax

Associate Professor

Baker Laboratory, Room G-36

Educational Background

  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
  • AB, Harvard University


Professor Zax's research looks to study novel materials via solid state NMR, with an emphasis on systems where disorder (either in structure, dynamics, or both) is an inherent property of the system, rather than an imperfection in the preparation.


Study of novel solid materials using solid state magnetic resonance


  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Graduate Fields

  • Chemistry and Chemical Biology


My group has combined advances in methodologies with applications of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance experiments to important and interesting real materials systems. When we are lucky, these two spheres of interest overlap.

We have been particularly interested in non-chemical approaches to polymer modification, exploiting an approach based on modification of the surrounding physical environment. Under suitable conditions, a wide variety of polymers-both polar and nonpolar, naturally entangled and more crystalline-can be intercalated into layered solids. These polymer nanocomposites often exhibit novel properties that can be conveniently mediated by controlling subtle guest-host interactions. Solid-state NMR is a powerful tool for monitoring the microscopic differences, static and dynamic, that characterize these composites.



Michal, C. A.; Simmons, A. H.; Chew, B. G. M.; Zax, D. B.; Jelinski, L. W. Presence of phosphorus in Nephila clavipes dragline silk. Biophys. J. 1996, 70, 489.

Liao, M.-Y.; Zax, D. B. Analysis of signal-to-noise ratios for noise excitation of quadrupolar nuclear spins in zero field. J. Phys. Chem. 1996, 100, 1483.

Wong, S.; Vaia, R.; Giannelis, E. P.; Zax, D. B. Dynamics in a PEO-based nanocomposite polymer electrolyte probed by solid state NMR. Sol. State Ionics 1996, 86-88, 547.

Zax, D. B. Field-dependent isotropic shifts and limitations to linewidths in solid state NMR: A floquet treatment. J. Chem. Phys. 1996, 105, 6616.

Hijirida, D. H.; Do, K. G.; Michal, C.; Wong, Sl.; Zax, D.; Jelinski, L. W. 13C NMR of Nephila clavipes major ampullate silk gland. Biophys. J. 1996, 71, 3442.

Wong, S.; Zax, D. B. What do NMR linewidths tell us? Dynamics of alkali cations in a PEO-based nanocomposite polymer electrolyte, ion dynamics in some nanocomposite polymer electrolytes. Electrochimica Acta 1998, 42, 3513.

Yang, D.-K.; Atkins, J. E.; Lester, C. C.; Zax, D. B. New developments in NMR using noise spectroscopy. Molecular Physics in press.

Yang, D.-K.; Zax, D. B. Bandwidth extension in noise spectroscopy, submitted.