"I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut
Christopher Mizzi

Christopher Mizzi


2220 Campus Dr.
Cook Hall 2036
Evanston, IL 60208-3108
chris dot mizzi at u dot northwestern dot edu

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Although first proposed in 1964, flexoelectricity, the electromechanical coupling between polarization and strain gradient, in crystalline solids has remained largely unexplored. Using a combination of experimental techniques (direct flexoelectric coefficient measurements, photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and electron microscopy) and ab initio calculations, my work aims to understand the physical origin of the flexoelectric effect in oxides.


  1. Structure of the (110) LnScO3 (Ln = Gd, Tb, Dy) Surfaces
    Z. R. Mansley, C. A. Mizzi, P. Koirala, J. Wen, and L. D. Marks
    Phys. Rev. Mater. 4 (2020) 045003

  2. Does Flexoelectricity Drive Triboelectricity?
    C. A. Mizzi*, A. Y. W. Lin*, and L. D. Marks (*equal contribution)
    Phys. Rev. Lett. 123 (2019) 116103

  3. Charging ain't all bad: Complex physics in DyScO3
    C. A. Mizzi, P. Koirala, A. Gulec, and L. D. Marks
    Ultramicroscopy 203 (2019) 119-124

  4. Direct Observation of Large Flexoelectric Bending at the Nanoscale in Lanthanide Scandates
    P. Koirala, C. A. Mizzi, and L. D. Marks
    Nano Lett. 18 (2018) 3850-3856

  5. Electronic structure of lanthanide scandates
    C. A. Mizzi, P. Koirala, and L. D. Marks
    Phys. Rev. Mater. 2 (2018) 025001


  1. Searle Graduate Teaching Fellow (2019)
  2. ICDD Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship (2017)

Teaching Experience

  1. Teaching Assistant: MSE 405 (Northwestern, 2018), MSE 3120 (Cornell, 2015), and MSE 3070 (Cornell, 2014)
  2. CIRTL Associate (Northwestern, 2018)
  3. Teaching Certificate Program (Northwestern, 2018)
  4. Mentored Discussions of Teaching (Northwestern, 2017)
  5. Course Development: MSE 3120 (Cornell, 2015)
  6. Academic Excellence Workshop Facillitator (Cornell, 2013-2015)


  1. Science in Your Community Center (SICC) Saturdays, Co-Founder (2016-present)
  2. Splash!, Volunteer Coordinator and Treasurer (2016-2018)
  3. Evanston Scholars ETHS Math Tutor (2017-present)
  4. McCormick Graduate Leadership Council, Co-Director (2016-2017)
  5. McCormick Graduate Leadership Council, Engineering Grand Prix Co-Chair (2015-2016)


Northwestern University - Evanston, IL
Ph.D. Candidate, Materials Science and Engineering
September 2015 - present

Cornell University - Ithaca, NY
B.S. magna cum laude with Honors in Materials Science and Engineering
August 2011 - May 2015