Spaldin, Nicola, Prof. Dr.

Prof. Dr.  Nicola Spaldin


ETH Zürich

Dep. of Materials 

Prof. Dr. Nicola Spaldin

Professur für Materialtheorie 

HIT  G 43.3 

Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27

8093 Zürich


  • phone +41 44 633 37 55 
  • fax +41 44 633 14 59 
  • phone (Sec.) +41 44 633 46 07 
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Additional information

Research area

Research in the Materials Theory group uses a combination of first-principles and phenomenological theoretical techniques to study the fundamental physics of novel materials that are of potential technological importance. Projects combine the development of new theoretical methods, application of the methods to existing materials, design of new materials with specific functionalities and subsequent synthesis of the "designer materials". Specific materials classes of interest are:

Magnetoelectric Multiferroics, which are materials that are simultaneously ferromagnetic and ferroelectric. These fall into our broader interest in Contra-indicated Multifunctional Materials, which combine multiple, technologically desirable functionalities that tend not to co-exist.

Transition-Metal Oxides with "strong correlations", in which the behaviour of each electron explicitly influences that of the others. These strong correlations often result in multiple coupled or competing instabilities, which in turn show strong tunable responses to electric or magnetic fields or strain. Here, we would particularly like to make a room-temperature superconductor.

Curriculum Vitae

Nicola A. Spaldin is the Professor of Materials Theory in the Department of Materials at ETH Zürich.

She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, where she obtained a B.A. in Natural Sciences in 1991. She then moved  to the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her PhD in Chemistry in 1996. She next worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Applied Physics Department at Yale University, before moving back to California, where she was Assistant Professor (1997-2002), Associate Professor (2002-2006) then Full Professor (2006 - 2010) in UC Santa Barbara’s Materials Department. She moved to ETH in 2011.

Spaldin has been a visiting professor at several institutions: Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India (2000), Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK (2003), Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA (2007) and the Materials Theory Division at Uppsala University (2010).


Year Distinction
2017 Lise Meitner Award of the German and Austrian Physical Societies
2017 L'Oreal/UNESCO For Women in Science Award
2016 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
2015 Koerber European Science Prize
2015 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
2014 American Physical Society Outstanding Referee
2014 ETH Golden Owl Award for Teaching Excellence
2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researcher
2013 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2012 ERC Advanced Grant
2012 Max Roessler Prize of the ETH
2011 Fellow, Materials Research Society
2010 American Physical Society McGroddy Prize for New Materials
2009 NSF American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellow
2008 Fellow, American Physical Society, USA
2007 Miller Institute Research Professorship, University of California, Berkeley, USA
2002 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow
2001 Distinguished Teaching Award, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
2000 ONR Young Investigator Award (Office of Naval Research)

Ms Prof. Dr. Nicola Spaldin is the winner of a «Golden Owl», a prize awarded by students at ETH Zurich in recognition of outstanding faculty teaching.

The «The Golden Owl» website 

Course Catalogue


Magnetic materials; fundamentals and device applications, Cambridge University Press. (2003). ISBN 0 521 81631 9 (hardback), 0 521 01658 4 (paperback).

Journal Publications

For up to date journal and citation information visit Spaldin's Google Scholar page: Google Scholar


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