FFATA: CAREER: Effects of Anelastic Relaxation of Defect Complexes on the Mechanical Behavior of Oxide Ceramics
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NON-TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION: Oxide ceramics with high ionic or mixed ionic-electronic conductivity are currently essential materials for highly-efficient and environmentally-friendly energy technologies, including solid oxide fuel cells and batteries. The project addresses, on a fundamental level, the relationship between atomic defects in oxide ceramics and their mechanical behavior under the combined effects of elevated temperature and mechanical stresses. The results of this project are expected to advance significantly the knowledge on formation and interaction of atomic defects in oxides that is needed today for further development of reliable and durable devices for energy generation, transformation, and storage. This project integrates research, educational and outreach activates that are focused on understanding complex behavior of oxides under extreme conditions, with an emphasis on involving graduate, undergraduate, K-12 students and underrepresented groups in research on novel materials for energy applications. TECHNICAL DETAILS: Although, significant progress has been achieved in understanding the chemistry, structure and kinetics of point defects in oxides and their effect on transport properties, the behavior of point defects under applied loads and their effects on temperature-dependant mechanical properties remain elusive. The main objective of the project is to quantify experimentally the effects of type, concentration and association of point defects on the mechanical properties in pure and doped binary and ternary oxides ceramics with high ionic or mixed ionic-electronic conductivity. Furthermore, this project contributes to the theory of point defects in ceramics and generates a more comprehensive understanding of the role that these defects have on mechanical behavior by linking experimental results to structure, chemistry and point defects interactions under different conditions. New experimental and computational tools are utilized in this project to better rationalize relationship between structural and thermo-mechanical properties of oxides at elevated temperatures. The grant further strengthens the educational and research experience of students through their close involvement in hands-on research and development of new courses in areas of materials science and renewable energy.