Research Aims and Topics

We are materials scientists and study the correlation between materials’ physical and functional properties, internal microstructure and residual stress, at multiple length scales and after varying processing conditions. We are using multiscale characterization approaches based on synchrotron X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, mechanical and electrical tests to assess process-structure-property relationships.

Thin Films and Coatings: Cross-Sectional Analysis and Design

  • characterization of cross-sectional microstructure, residual stress and chemistry using synchrotron X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy techniques (HR-TEM, STEM, EELS and EDX)
  • cross-sectional characterization of mechanical properties using nanoindentation and micro- and nano-cantilever bending tests
  • transition metal nitride coating (TiAlN, AlCrN, TiN, CrN), microelectronic thin films (Cu, TiW, CuAl) and diamond coatings
  • development of novel protective coatings in collaboration with project partners

Local Mechanical Properties

  • characterization of fracture properties of thin films and coatings using cross-sectional micro-mechanical tests on micro-cantilevers
  • depth-selective characterization of fracture properties in thin films and coatings
  • in-situ experiments in SEM and TEM on micro- and nano-cantilevers
  • evaluation of fracture toughness, fracture stress and elastic modulus at distinct thin film and coatings depths

Additive Manufacturing

  • design of biomimetic and functionally graded materials produced using additive manufacturing
  • cross-sectional characterization of mechanical properties using indentation and multi-scale mechanical tests
  • residual stress characterization in AM structures
  • microstructure and phase characterization using synchrotron diffraction, scanning and electron microscopy

Development of Novel Characterization Techniques

  • development of synchrotron-based approaches for local microstructure and stress characterization of materials
  • development of in-situ X-ray diffraction sample environments
  • development of micro-mechanical techniques for local characterization of residual stresses and mechanical properties

Structure-Property Relationship of Organic Tissue

  • correlation between microstructure and mechanical properties of wood and lignocellulosic biomass
  • X-ray diffraction characterization of microfibril angle in wood
  • X-ray diffraction characterization of hierarchical materials