Our research currently focuses on the role of grain boundaries and interfaces in ceramic materials. My group studies how multiphase ceramics (primarily oxides) can be fabricated to optimize desired properties. In addition, our group uses high resolution analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to study the chemistry, bonding, and structure of grain boundaries and interfaces between dissimilar phases in these multiphase materials in order to understand the key features that control the material behavior. Current projects include (1) understanding how interfaces between dissimilar materials can enhance radiation damage tolerance in ceramics, (2) design of multiphase ceramics to reduce thermal conductivity by increasing the Kapitza (thermal) resistance of interfaces, and (3) determination of how multiple phases can promote flash sintering (densification of ceramics in just seconds under an applied electric field).

Awards and Achievements

  • Fellow of the American Ceramic Society ( 2013)
  • Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring from White House/NSF ( 2002)