Modern materials science seeks to understand and influence the behavior of materials at a variety of length scales, ranging from the atomic to the macroscopic, utilizing experimental and theoretical or computational tools as probes. Our experimental research includes nanoscience, biomaterials, high-temperature materials, laser-materials interaction and electrochemical process with diverse applications from transportation to medicine to renewable energy.
- Lasers are used to construct nano-structured materials for energy storage and power generation and are exploited in the field of adaptive optics and micromanipulation of materials with light.
- Quantum mechanics-based simulation tools are developed and used to enable discovery and design of materials for sustainable energy, including converting sunlight to electricity and fuels, optimizing lightweight metal alloys for fuel-efficient vehicles, and characterizing hydrogen isotope incorporation into plasma facing components of fusion reactors.
- Microstructural evolution is being examined with phase field approaches with applications to organic electronics, mechanics of materials, energy storage and renewable energy.
- Electrochemical materials processing and additive, high throughput fabrication methods are being studied for energy storage applications, with a focus on low cost, long life systems. Static and dynamic strain analysis of complex materials systems as applied to energy storage.
- Statistical mechanics tools are used to study the role of thermal fluctuations and disorder for the mechanics of materials and to guide a design of new mechanical metamaterials. Such metamaterials can be used to make sensitive force sensors, flexible electronics, drug delivery containers, micro-actuators, materials with tunable non-linear response, etc.