Simon J. L. Billinge

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics

Materials Science & Engineering
Office: 1105 S.W. Mudd
Mail: 200 S.W. Mudd, Mail Code: 4701
New York, NY 10027
Phone: 1-212-854-2918

Research Specialty

Amorphous and nanostructured pharmaceuticals and molecular materials, methods for solving the nanostructure problem, nanoscale fluctuations in exotic electronic materials, nanostructured materials for energy and environmental remediation, software for complex modeling and nanostructure determination

Current Research Interests
Local structure property relationships of disordered crystals and nanocrystals using advanced x-ray and neutron diffraction techniques. Atomic Pair Distribution Function method applied to complex materials. Single crystal diffuse scattering and total scattering studies. Studies of charge localization and nanoscale inhomogeneous electronic states in complex electronic oxides. Studies of semiconductor alloys and microporous materials. Local structure of biologically relevant molecules and materials in the excited state. More information about my research, (p)reprints, and a complete publication list, can be found at


1987-1992 University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering

1982-1986 University of Oxford, BA Materials Science


American Physical Society, American Crystallographic Association, Neutron Scattering Society of America, Materials Research Society

Awards & Appointments

2018 University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Pharmacy, Busse Lecturer

2018 Warren Award of the American Crystallographic Association

2015 Texas A&M Clearfield Endowed Lecturer

2014 Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America

2012 Neutron Scattering Society of America Service Award for outstanding service

2012 Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography

2011 Fulbright Research Scholar 2011-2012

2011 Carnegie Foundation of New York honored as one of 24 Outstanding Immigrants

2011 Co-editor of Journal Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations of Crystallography

2010 J. D. Hanawalt Award of the International Center for Diffraction Data

2007 University Distinguished Faculty Award, Michigan State University

2006 Fellow, American Physical Society

2006 Michigan State University, College of Nat. Sci., Distinguished Faculty Award

1998 Thomas H. Osgood Undergraduate Teaching Award

1995 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship

1992 Sigma Xi Outstanding thesis award, U. Pennsylvania

1992 Electro-science Laboratories Award, U. Pennsylvania


Robert E. Dinnebier and Simon J. L. Billinge, Editor, Powder Diffraction: Theory and Practice, Royal Society of Chemistry, London England, 2008.

T. Egami and S. J. L. Billinge, Underneath the Bragg Peaks: Structural Analysis of Complex Materials, Elsevier Science, Oxford, 2004.

S. J. L. Billinge and M. F. Thorpe, Editor, From semiconductors to proteins, beyond the average structure, Plenum, New York, 2002.

S. J. L. Billinge and M. F. Thorpe, Editor, Local structure from diffraction, Plenum, New York, 1998.3.

S. J. L. Billinge, Electronic Oxides: Properties and applications, Web Proceedings of the 11th Annual CFMR symposium

Select Publications

A full list with links to the publications from Prof. Billinge's
group can be found at:

Milinda Abeykoon, Christos D. Malliakas, Pavol Juhás, Emil S. Bozin, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis and Simon J. L. Billinge, Quantitative nanostructure characterization using atomic pair distribution functions obtained from laboratory electron microscopes, Z. Kristallogr. 227, 248-256 Highlighted on the journal cover (2012).

Emil S. Bozin, Christos D. Malliakas, Petros Souvatzis, Thomas Proffen, Nicola A. Spaldin, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis and Simon J. L. Billinge, Entropically stabilized local dipole formation in lead chalcogenides, Science 330, 1660 (2010).

Simon J. L. Billinge, Timur Dykhne, Pavol Juhás, Emil Bozin, Ryan Taylor, Alastair J. Florence and Kenneth Shankland, Characterisation of amorphous and nanocrystalline molecular materials by total scattering, CrystEngComm 12, 1366-1368 (2010).

S. J. L. Billinge and I. Levin, The problem with determining atomic structure at the nanoscale, Science 316, 561-565 (2007).

P. Juhas, D. M. Cherba, P. M. Duxbury, W. F. Punch and S. J. L. Billinge, Ab initio determination of solid-state nanostructure, Nature 440, 655-658 (2006).

S. J. L. Billinge and M. G. Kanatzidis, Beyond crystallography: the study of disorder nanocrystallinity and crystallographically challenged materials, Chem. Commun. 2004, 749-760 (2004).

500 W. 120th St., Mudd 200, MC 4701 New York, NY 10027 / Phone: 212-854-4457 / Fax: 212-854-8257 / Email:

©2012 Columbia University