The project aims to understand the nature of transport of ions and electrons/holes in two important representatives of large band gap oxides, alumina and zirconia. While zirconia and alumina display distinctly different oxide structures, the physics controlling oxide growth is very much similar. This category of ceramics has many important applications extending from electronic uses to current and future energy efficient power generation technologies. For all these applications transport kinetics is recognized to be critical to the functionality and reliability of the component. In this type of oxides, diffusion along grain (or interphase) boundaries is pointed out as the rate controlling transport mechanism. However, the overall complexity of the processes involved and huge experimental difficulties to study grain boundaries on the atomic level have stymied deeper understanding in this topic area. Thanks to several break-throughs in the field of high-resolution microscopy and microanalysis the knowledge of these mechanismscan significantly advance , using FIB-SEM specimen preparation, state-of-the-art atom probe tomography and TEM. Thus, by addressing state-of-the-art experimental techniques for characterization of grain boundary chemistry with atomic resolution and first principle atomistic modeling the limits of fundamental understanding of transport processes in large band gap oxides can be extended.
Professor at Applied Physics, Materials Microstructure
Funding years 2013–2016