Thermochemistry of NanosinteringWhat 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 RadiationNanostructured 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.