Perovskite: Name Puzzle and German-Russian Odyssey of Discovery

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47 Scopus citations


Today the term ‘perovskite’ is used to designate the crystalline structure of a wide variety of ABX3 ionic compounds. However, historically this name was used for a specific material, having been coined for a mineral, calcium titanate (CaTiO3). This mineral was discovered in the Ural Mountains, Russia. The first sample of the mineral was transferred from Saint Petersburg to Berlin in 1839 by the Russian mineralogist Alexander Kämmerer, who gave the sample for further investigation to the German mineralogist and crystallographer Gustav Rose. Rose determined its properties and chemical composition and named the mineral after the Russian politician and mineralogist Lev Perovski. The present essay describes the background of this discovery as well as the life stories of the personalities involved.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2000061
JournalHelvetica Chimica Acta
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Alexander von Humboldt
  • August Alexander Kämmerer
  • Gustav Rose
  • Lev Perovski
  • history of science
  • organic–inorganic hybrid composites
  • perovskite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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