UCL Earth Sciences

Prof Ron Cohen receives international award

27 June 2014

Ron Cohen Award

Prof Cohen received the International Award of Ferroelectric Materials and Their Applications of 2014 in Kyoto, Japan at the 31st meeting on Ferroelectric Materials and Their Applications (FMA) “For contribution to the progress in knowledge of ferroelectric materials through first principles research”.Prof. Cohen has worked on ferroelectrics since the 1980’s, his 1992 cover article in Nature being critical work on why some perovskites are ferroelectric. During his trip Prof. Cohen presented at seminars and spoke with students at the University of Tokyo and at Waseda University, and met with scientists from Kyoto University.

At the FMA meeting, Prof. Cohen learned that his work was used to save the automobile and other Japanese industries perhaps millions of dollars, as the government was planning to ban PZT, the piezoelectric used in everything from fuel injectors to seat belt buzzers, watch alarms, and cell­‐phone ringers. Cohen’s 1992 paper was used to show that the lead in PZT is special, and there is a good scientific reason to use it in piezoelectrics and as yet a good substitute has not yet been found, in spite of much effort. There is no health risk,  as  no  one  swallows  or  breathes  a  fuel  injector  or  a  seat belt buzzer.

Related Link:
ToMCaT (Theory of Mantle, Core and Technological Materials) research group.