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Thermochemistry of Nanosintering

What if you could control the behavior of ceramic nanoparticles and nanostructures under heat treatment? This is what Professor Castro’s research group is looking for. Using specially designed thermochemical experiments, nanostructure characterization by TEM, SEM, BET, and others, we are currently designing a relationship between the interface energetics and nanosintering, nanostability, and phase transition, enabling a thermodynamic control of these phenomena. Tin dioxide and Zirconia are the model systems used here. This work is supported by the NSF CAREER award, DMR Ceramics 1055504.

Nanoceramics under Radiation

Nanostructured materials are likely to play a large role in future nuclear reactors and radioactive waste storage due to their strength and potential resistance to structural damage from radiation. The goal of this project is to investigate the dependence of the strength of nanoceramics to radiation induced amorphization on the interfacial energies. Doped Zirconia and Aluminate Spinels are the model materials in this project that is supported by the Early Career Research Program award and is a collaboration with the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
In an independent but complementary front supported by the UC LabFee, cerium oxide is used as a model system to evaluate the possility of designing ceramics with much high radiation resistance.

Application Oriented Research

While Castro's group is mainly a fundamental research group, but he carries parallel research to exploit some of the fascinating properties of the nanoceramic materials synthesized by the group. Self-sensing nanostructured composites, gas phase and biological sensors, electrophoretic deposition coupled with flash-sintering are among the projects currently on-going. These researchs is partially supported by NSF and DOE. In collaboration with Prof. Stroeve, Castro is also developing nanostructured materials based on BN nanotubes for gas adsorption in radioactive environments. This work is supported by NEUP.

Affiliations & Societies

Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory Our group is a part of this unique laboratory, check the website!


Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department.
Visit the new website for more information.

The American Ceramic Society.
Castro is an active member of this Society and NICE Secretary. Visit the new website for more information.

Prof. Castro honored as 2013-2014 Chancellor’s Fellow.
An honor for a selected group of faculty at UC Davis being honored early in their careers for having already compiled outstanding records of achievement.

Other Interesting Links

Materials & You and the Materials Magic Show.
Two NSF supported program developed with the Yolo County Office of Education and UC Davis Click to learn more.
I'm a scientist with faith. Learn more about Castro's faith and how science can co-exist with God.

Sintering book published in 2013.
Book collects up-to-date info on nano-effects on sintering and electrical field assisted issues.