Microstructure (MS)

Most engineering materials are polycrystalline, the properties of which can depend strongly on processing conditions during fabrication. The causal link is via changes in microstructure, which includes the arrangement of grain- or interphase-boundaries, the distribution of the size of grains or additional phases, and so on.

The Microstructure Capability Group undertakes research in microstructures and materials through the following paradigms:
  • Science: Understand the relationship between microstructure, processing, and property of materials.
  • Engineering: Optimize material properties by manipulating processing conditions.
  • Application: Guide experimentalists/industrial partners to improve properties of materials and devices.

Figure 2: Research in Microstructure Capability Group


Research Directions
  • Methodology: Use multiphysics/multiscale approach to model microstructure-processing & microstructure-property relations. Tools for simulation/modeling include
    • molecular dynamics
    • kinetic monte carlo
    • phase field
    • population balance
  • Testbed: Choose interesting systems that have potential for applications; e.g.,
    • stress effect: Ge-Sb-Te (phase change memory)
    • chain-like structure: C-H (crude oil)
    • cage-like structure: CH4-H2O (natural gas)
    • ferroic transition: Ba-Ti-O (ferroelectric)
Selected Publications
  • P. S. Branicio, J. Y. Zhang, and D. J. Srolovitz Effect of strain on the stacking fault energy of copper: A first-principles study Phys. Rev. B, 2013, 88, 064104. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.064104
  • S Shukla, DT Wu, H Ramanarayan, D Srolovitz, RV Ramanujan Nanocrystallization in driven amorphous materials Acta Materialia, 2013, 61, 3242-3248. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2013.02.012
  • Rajeev Ahluwalia, Nathaniel Ng, Alina Schilling, RGP McQuaid, DM Evans, JM Gregg, David J Srolovitz, JF Scott Manipulating Ferroelectric Domains in Nanostructures Under Electron Beams Phys. Rev. Lett, 2013, 111, 165702. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.165702
  • Nathaniel Ng, Rajeev Ahluwalia, David J Srolovitz Domain patterns in free-standing nanoferroelectrics Acta Materialia, 2012, 60, 3632-3642. DOI: 10.1016/j.actamat.2012.02.053