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Radovan Cerny


Charles University in Prague, Ph.D. in Solid State Physics (1990)


Professeur Associé

Postal Address

1211 GENEVE 4

Telephone Number

+41 22 379 64 50

Fax Telephone Number

+41 22 379 61 08





Room Number

Sect. phys. S28b

Finding the office

The quai Ernest-Ansermet runs parallel to the Arve river. No. 24 is a building marked Ecole de Physique close to the television studio tower. Enter the building by the main entrance on the quai Ernest-Ansermet and once inside walk down the stairs to the left of the reception desk. Once downstairs follow the long corridor to the right and the office is on the left-hand side. To help you along you may consult a map of Geneva.

Curriculum vitae

Main interests

Theory and practise of diffraction methods (crystal structure determination from single crystals and powders, lattice defects, texture) :

Structures from powders . In collaboration with V. Favre-Nicolin we have developped the program Fox,
Decomposition of overlapping reflections in a powder diffraction pattern with the help of preferred orientation (texture).
Novel light metal hydrides for hydrogen storage and lithium batteries:

We have characterized the crystal structures of following binary borohydrides using the program Fox and X-ray powder diffraction:

LiBH4 (reinvestigated on a single crystal)

Mg(BH4)2 (reinvestigated on a single crystal)

Mn(BH4)2 (first homoleptic TM-borohydride)

Structural relation between Mg(BH4)2 and Mn(BH4)2


Bimetallic borohydrides of alkali and transition metals with lower hydrogen release temperature:

LiSc(BH4)4, NaSc(BH4)4, KSc(BH4)4 containing complex anion [Sc(BH4)4]-

(Li,Na)Zn2(BH4)5, NaZn(BH4)3 containing complex anion [Zn(BH4)3]-

Li4Al3(BH4)13, NaAl(BH4)4 containing complex anion [Al(BH4)4]- and cation [(BH4)Li4]3+

KZn(BH4)3, K2Zn(BH4)4 with anions [Zn(BH4)3]- and [Zn(BH4)4]2-

and many other novel compounds prepared by mecanosynthesis or wet chemistry.

In the Li3N - hydrogen system we have studied the intermediate phases.


Metal hydrides. Recently we have applied the PDF method to the characterization of a local hydrogen order around a transition metal in an apparently disordered hydride YFe2D4.2.

New sources of radiation ( synchrotron, neutrons ).

Real structure of thin films (e.g. TiN ).

Intermetallic compounds . ( HRTEM image of YbCu4.5 with a giant cell ~ 49x49x46.5 Å, the first member of the family of Cerny phases). We have shown the shrinking of Cu-hexagon around a Cu2-dummbell in YCu7 using the the PDF method.

Crystallography of minerals (in collaboration with Halil Sarp, Natural History Museum of Geneva): Nine new minerals have been characterized on single crystals, including Radovanite.


Pascal Schouwink (EPFL Valais, Sion) - crystallography of borohydrides

Vincent Favre-Nicolin (CEA Grenoble) - method of structure solution from powders, program Fox.

Yaroslav Filinchuk (Catholic University of Louvain-la-neuve) - crystallography of borohydrides and hydrides

Torben Jensen, Dorthe Ravnsbaek (University of Aarhus and University of University of Southern Denmark in Odense) - borohydrides

Hans Hagemann (Physical Chemistry, University of Geneva) - IR, Raman spectroscopy and DFT calculations on borohydrides

Dhanesh Chandra (University of Reno) - Li3N - hydrogen system

Jean-Marc Joubert, Michel Latroche, Valérie Paul-Boncour (CNRS Thiais) - metal hydrides

Roman. Gladyshevskii (University of Lviv) - intermetallic compounds

Enrico Giannini (Solid State Physics, University of Geneva) - iron chalcogenides, crystal growth of metal hydrides


  1. 13P040 CR Cristallographie et diffraction
  2. 14P040 CR et TP Méthodes de diffraction : Monocristaux et polycristaux

Some useful links

R.C. 4 October 2018
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