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B. A. Weinstein

Professor of Physics (Emeritus)

Bernie Weinstein photo.png



            Bernard A. Weinstein received a B.S. in Physics from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. from Brown University, carrying out his thesis research under Professor Manuel Cardona at the Max-Planck-Institute fur Festkorperforschung in Stuttgart, Germany.  Weinstein was appointed an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Bureau of Standards (presently the National Institute of Standards) in 1973, and in 1975 became an Assistant Professor of Physics at Purdue University.  He worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Xerox Research Laboratories in Rochester, New York from 1978 to 1987.  In 1987 he was appointed a full professor in the Department of Physics of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, where he engaged in research, teaching, and other university activities. He is currently (since 2016) an Emeritus Professor in residence at the SUNY Buffalo Department of Physics.   

           Professor Weinstein's research interests are focused on the intrinsic and defect properties of crystalline and amorphous solids, and their nanostructures. He employs various optical and, especially, novel high-pressure experiments to study fundamental phenomena in these solid-state systems.  He has mentored 10 Ph.D. and 2 M.S. students in these fields, as well as 2 postdoctoral associates, 4 visiting scholars and many undergraduate assistants.  Weinstein is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has published widely on his research (132 articles), including 6 invited reviews, a chapter in the Springer-Verlag series on Light Scattering in Solids, and one U.S. patent. Weinstein has been invited to lecture at numerous international conferences. He chaired and co-edited the Proceedings of the 6th Intl. Conf. on High Pressure Semiconductor Physics (HPSP), co-chaired the 11th HPSP Conf., and gave the final plenary summary of the 13th Conf. in the HPSP series.  He was awarded SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching (2000) and for Excellence in Service (2014), and also won the 2003 Milton Plesur Award for Excellence in Teaching.

         Professor Weinstein was born in Bridgeport Ct., and grew up in the surrounding Fairfield hills, where, at the age of 10, a book called The Universe and Dr. Einstein, the launching of Sputnik, and a love and wonder of nature sparked his interest in science and physics. These qualities remain undiminished. He and his wife Helen have two sons and 6 grandchildren who continually add wonder to their lives. 

Research Areas and Significant Achievements
See the selected publications below, and the "Publications" page on this Website for a complete listing.)

  •   Effects of applied pressure on phonon and electron states in solids


  •   High pressure structural phase-transitions in tetrahedral semiconductors


  •   Pressure-induced deep defects, disorder, and electron localization in crystals


  •   Photo-induced crystallization in amorphous Se and chalcogenide glasses


  •   Anharmonic resonant phonon interactions in semiconductors


  •   Studies of the above phenomena by Raman scattering, other spectral probes,

            and by novel diamond-anvil cell high pressure experiments


            In Professor Weinstein's research, Raman scattering, photoluminescence, and other visible and infrared spectroscopy experiments are focused on the phonon and electron excitations in semiconductor crystals, alloys, nanostructures, and glasses. Diamond-anvil cells are employed to probe the hydrostatic-pressure dependence of these excitations and to investigate the structural phase transitions in the different materials.  The most recent studies by Weinstein’s group have explored: correlation between pressure-softening of TA phonons and phase changes, pressure effects in the novel perovskite BaZrS3, and precipitate formation and plasticity under applied pressure in II-VI crystals. (See Selected Publications below.)

          Earlier work by Weinstein on phonons, anharmonic interactions, and phase changes in Group IV, III-V, and II-VI crystals led to an understanding of the effects of pressure on the dispersion of the optic- and acoustic- phonon branches in these materials across the Brillouin Zone. Subsequent research on the high-pressure phase changes in epitaxial multilayers revealed superpressing driven by interlayer constraints, behavior that bears on the growth (at 1 atm.) of metastable strained-layer systems.  Studies of intrinsic and defect electron states explored how applied pressure tunes the extended-localized nature of impurities in n-type ZnSe and of N-pairs in GaAs1-xNx, and how pressure enhances the lattice relaxation of Zn-vacancies in ZnS.  Another area of Weinstein’s interest has been the properties of chalcogenide glasses at both ambient and elevated pressures. Experiments on amorphous Se films show that photo-crystallization is promoted by as-grown interface strain, and studies on several As- and Ge- chalcogenide glasses and crystals find connections between the network dimensionality of bonding and photoelastic behavior.

          Professor Weinstein has made significant contributions to high-pressure experimentation by pioneering the use of the modern diamond-anvil cell for Raman scattering and other optical studies. He also advanced cryogenic pressure research, developing tunable low-temperature diamond-anvil cells, including an apparatus patented with R. J. Chen for far infrared magnetospectroscopy.

Selected Publications

(For a complete listing, see the "Publications" page on this Website.)







  • “Raman scattering in β-ZnS”, J. Serrano, A. Cantarero, M. Cardona, N. Garro, R. Lauck, R. E. Tallman, T. M. Ritter, and B. A. Weinstein, Phys. Rev. B 69, 14301-12 (2004).          PDF Copy











  • Patent #5,693,345, Dec. 2, 1997: "Diamond-Anvil-Cell Assembly", by R. J. Chen and B. A. Weinstein 

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