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Steven Jacobsen

Professor, Faculty Senator, Director of Graduate Recruitment

Ph.D. Geophysics; University of Colorado
M.S. Geology; University of Colorado
B.A. Geology; University of Colorado


Jacobsen is mineralogist and materials scientist doing physical chemistry at high pressure. Minerals are the containers of ingredients necessary for developing a low-carbon economy.  High-pressure science deals with understanding and manipulating the properties of materials in extreme conditions with applications in geophysical, planetary and energy sciences. Specializing in hydrogen bonding, his work in geophysics deals broadly with the composition of the Earth’s mantle and water cycling. Simulating the P-T conditions found deep in planets is also rich for discovery of new materials with energy applications or operation in extreme environments. Current projects include mineral electrodeposition for marine soil hardening, biomineralogy, and Jacobsen is PI of a new cooperative agreement with NASA and industry for development of off-world construction technology from regolith on the lunar south pole.


EARTH 101: Earth Science for the 21st Century

                The Earth’s structure, composition, climate and energy for non-science majors

EARTH 300: Earth and Planetary Materials

                Structure, composition, properties and uses of minerals in society

EARTH 438: Adv. Topics: Mineral Physics

                Graduate course on topical subjects relevant to current research

Selected Publications

Amsler, M., V.I. Hegde, S.D. Jacobsen, and C. Wolverton (2018) Exploring the high-pressure materials genome. Physical Review X 8, 041021.

Diamond M.R., G. Shen, D.Y. Popov, C. Park, S.D. Jacobsen and R. Jeanloz (2022) Electron density change across the pressure-induced iron spin transition. Physical Review Letters 129, 025701.

Liu, X., X. Chen, X. Jia, H.A. Ma, D.J. Singh, R. Stern, J. Wu, S. Petitgirard, C.R. Bina, and S.D. Jacobsen (2019) Boron-oxygen complex yields n-type surface layer in semiconducting diamond. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 116, 7703-7711.

Nestola, F. M.E. Regier, R.W. Luth, D.G. Pearson, T. Stachel, C.A. McCammon, M.D. Wenz, S.D. Jacobsen, C. Anzolini, L. Bindi, and J.W. Harris (2023) Extreme redox variations in a superdeep diamond from a subducted slab. Nature 613, 85-89.

Whitney, D.L. S.D. Jacobsen, and G. Gehrels (2020) All hands on deck: Implications of the recent NSF Earth Sciences decadal report for the mineral sciences. Elements 16, 228-230.

 Meyer, N.A., M.D. Wenz, J.P.S. Walsh, S.D. Jacobsen, A.J. Locock, and J.W. Harris (2019) Goldschmidtite, (K,REE,Sr)(Nb,Cr)O3: a new perovskite supergroup mineral found in diamond from Koffiefontein, South Africa. American Mineralogist 104, 1345-1350.

Complete List of Publications