Post-doctoral scholar

Yevgeny Rakita (Shlafstein) grew up in Israel and, after finishing his PhD, joined Simon Billinge's group. In the Billige group Yevgeny developes electron-beam based Pair Distribution Function (PDF) analysis techniques, focusing on derivation and mapping of PDF-based quantities. In addition, he explores data harvesting during chemical synthesis using an approach known as MOSY - Movement Motivated Synthesis. The goal of his project is to harvest the entire history of a chemical reaction by parsing the components and sequences during synthesis of materials into a consequent set of actions that characterize a material with all of its physical properties. His aim is to create a “global-intuition” that is based on every experiment (successful and failed ones) relating to the process and property of materials. His background is in chemistry and material-sciences, with a focus on energy-related and biomedical materials, and he has an expertise in developing multidisciplinary frameworks for material fabrication and characterization. He completed his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where he studied the mechanical, structural, and opto-electronic properties of thin films and single crystals of photovoltaic materials. During his doctoral studies, he focused on halide perovskites and oxides that were self-fabricated using novel fabrication methods. Previously, he was involved in a research project on simulating soft-matter interactions (poly-electrolytes) in an ionic medium for energy-storage applications. He likes hiking, cooking and coding.

Education & Employment

Columbia University

Post-Doctoral Scholar

New York, NY, 2019 - 2022

Weizmann Institute of Science


unknown, unknown, 2014 - 2019
  • Advisors: Profs. Gary Hodes and David Cahen
  • Thesis title: Between Structure and Performance in Halide Perovskites for Photovoltaic Applications: the Role of Defects

Tel-Aviv University


unknown, unknown, 2010 - 2014
  • Advisors: Dr. Amir Natan and Prof. Dianna Golodnitsky
  • Thesis title: Modelling the effect of adsorbed polyelectrolytes on the electric potential at charged surfaces
  • (summa cum laude)

Ben-Gurion University


unknown, unknown, 2005 - 2008
  • (summa cum laude)


  1. Yevgeny Rakita, James L. Hart, Partha Pratim Das, Daniel L. Foley, Stavros Nicolopoulos, Sina Shahrezaei, Suveen Nigel Mathaudhu, Mitra L. Taheri, and Simon J. L. Billinge. "Studying Heterogeneities in Local Nanostructure with Scanning Nanostructure Electron Microscopy (SNEM)". arxiv . 2110.03589 Oct 2022 download doi
  2. Simon J. L. Billinge, Sandra H. Skjaervoe, Maxwell W. Terban, Songsheng Tao, Long Yang, Yevgeny Rakita, and Benjamin A. Frandsen. "Local structure determination using total scattering data". Comprehensive Inorganic Chemistry III. Oct 2021 download doi
  3. Rakita, Yevgeny, O'Nolan, Daniel, McAuliffe, Rebecca, Veith, Gabriel, Chupas, Peter, Billinge, Simon, and Chapman, Karena. "Active Reaction Control of Cu Redox State Based on Real-Time Feedback from {\it in situ} Synchrotron Measurements". J. Am. Chem. Soc. . 142 p. 18758–18762 Nov 2020 download doi