Thermal barrier coatings enable gas turbine engine components to operate in gas temperatures greater than the melting temperatures of the metallic components and increase engine efficiencies. Our research spans the discovery of new, lower thermal conductivity oxides, thermal cycling induced rumpling and damage evolution and the development of non-destructive testing methods.
Exploration and discovery of improved high-temperature thermoelectric materials for energy conversion applications. Our current focus is on oxide thermoelectrics.
A new class of soft materials that exhibit extraordinary electric-field induced shape changes with potential applications as actuators and in mechanical energy harvesting.
Piezospectroscopy is a strain measurement methodology based on strain-induced shifts in Raman and photo-luminescence spectroscopy. Major applications are non-contact, in-situ measurement of stresses in oxide films and semiconductor devices.
Several of the elements crucial to renewable energy generation technologies are extremely scarce. We are exploring using microbes as agents for harvesting scarce metals during ore processing and in recycling.