Olivier C. Gagné

Banting and Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow

Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science


  • Address: Earth and Planets Laboratory Carnegie Institution for Science 5251 Broad Branch Rd. NW Washington D.C. 20015

  • Office: A-G08

  • Phone: +1 (202) 478-8958

  • Email: ogagne@carnegiescience.edu


I'm a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Earth and Planets Laboratory, Washington D.C. My research primarily focuses on chemical bonding in the solid state. I am particularly interested in symmetry-breaking bonding phenomena, with emphasis on compositional and structural aspects underpinning the functional properties of inorganic materials. My research aims encompass systematization of chemical-bonding behavior for entire classes of materials (e.g., oxides, nitrides, chalcogenides) to facilitate identification, quantification and particularly, prediction of anomalous bonding behavior. I primarily use this knowledge to investigate the reasons underlying ion substitutions in solids toward an atomistic model of semiconductor doping, and to identify transferable bonding phenomena bearing functional properties to unearth uncharted chemical and structural spaces that are beyond the reach of high-throughput computational methods. At the Earth and Planets Laboratory, my work further strives to improve the accuracy of inferring the oxidation state of redox-active cations in the thriving class of chalcogenide materials (compounds with S2-, Se2- and/or Te2- as the main anion), which I use as a proxy to track the oxidation of Earth’s crust through geologic time.

Outside of science, I can be found climbing, playing tennis, scuba diving, skydiving, or wild camping.

Research themes at-a-glance

  • Atomistic modeling of semiconductor doping and quantitative evaluation of dopant viability

  • Exploratory synthesis of bulk and trace/minor element inorganic materials, with particular emphasis on the design of environmentally-friendly energy materials and power electronics

  • Systematization of chemical bonding for inorganic compounds