Materials Research Resources and Capabilities

Formulation – Development of ceramic and glass materials including:

  • Energy
    • Solid oxide fuel cells, solar thermal concentrators, SSL, Thermoelectrics, Gas purification membranes, Hydrogen storage, Photovoltaics, Photocatalysts, Batteries
  • Environment
    • Recycling of waste streams into value added products, Optimization of materials manufacturing processes to reduce energy consumption, waste and/or emissions, Porous filters, Anti-corrosion coating
  • Healthcare
    • Bioactive materials for hard tissue repair, Antibacterial materials, Adsorbents for purification of biomolecules
  • Defense/Homeland Security
    • High temperature capacitors, Radiation detectors, Hydrophones, High temperature propulsion components, High-strength ceramic and glass armor

Modeling – Computational modeling of material structure, properties, and performance including:

  • Molecular dynamics
    • Relaxation behavior, ion migration in ionic conductors, diffusion, structure of ceramics and glass, fracture of brittle solids
  • Static lattice methods
    • Structural stability, defect formation and stability
  • Finite element analysis
    • Static and dynamic FEA, Multi-physics simulations including applied electromagnetic fields
  • SciGlass database
    • Historical glass property database, includes calculators for glass property prediction and composition selection

Processing – Comprehensive facilities for the processing of ceramics and glasses, including:

  • Materials synthesis methods
    • Solid state reaction, precipitation, combustion synthesis, micelle synthesis, sol-gel processing, hetrocoagulation for grain boundary engineering
  • Glove boxes
    • Includes systems equipped with built-in furnaces for heating under inert atmospheres
  • Ceramic processing equipment
    • High-intensity mixers, Multiple uniaxial presses (includes heated platens), Cold isostatic press, Filter press, Extruders, Injection molding, Slip casting, Spray drying, Milling equipment (ball, planetary, gyromill, vibratory, etc.), Heated Brabender mixer
  • Furnaces for materials processing
    • Box furnaces (up to 1600°C), tube furnaces for controlled atmospheric work, vacuum furnaces (2000°C)
    • Hot isostatic presses, hot uniaxial press, hot forging
    • Customized high-temperature microwave furnaces, with atmospheric control
    • Resistively heated and gas-fired tunnel kilns
    • Spark plasma sintering system
  • Thin film/thick film processing
    • Spin coating
    • Dip coating
    • Screen printing
    • Tape casting (includes cleanroom facilities for cutting, stacking, lamination, and firing)
    • Ion-assisted E-beam PVD
    • Magnetron sputtering (DC, Pulsed DC, RF)
  • Glass processing equipment
    • Facilities for melting oxide and non-oxide glasses, Glass frit preparation, Glass fiber formation, Glass microsphere formation, Ion exchange of glass surfaces for chemical strengthening, refractive index modification

Characterization – Comprehensive facilities for characterizing the structure and properties of materials:

  • Scanning electrion microscope (SEM)
    • Standard SEM with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy for qualitative chemical analysis
    • Field emission SEM with EDX; also includes Electron Backscatter Diffraction for crystallographic texture mapping and an accessory for high temperature SEM studies
  • Atomic force microscopy
    • Surface morphology and roughness
    • Includes probe for magnetic force microscopy
  • Optical microscopy
    • Capabilities include fractographic analysis for determination of failure mechanisms
  • Electron microprobe
    • Multi-spectrometer wavelength dispersive spectrometers for quantitative chemical analysis
  • Optical interferometry
    • Surface morphology and roughness
  • X-ray diffraction (XRD)
    • Room temperature powder XRD for crystalline phase identification
    • High temperature XRD up to ~1500°C in controlled atmosphere to monitor phase formation and evolution; can be used to trace reaction kinetics
    • Rietveld refinement capabilities for quantitative phase analysis and structure solution
    • High energy system for pair distribution functions
    • Thin film characterization
    • Small angle X-ray scattering
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
    • Infrared spectrometer (transmission, diffuse reflectance, high temperature diffuse reflectance with controlled atmosphere for monitoring sample alteration as function of temperature and/or reaction with gases)
    • Infrared microscope
    • Confocal Raman microscope with chemical Spectroscopy
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy
    • Quantitative analysis of surface composition and local chemical environments
    • Equipped with ion mill for depth profiling
  • Inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer
    • Chemical analysis of liquids; chemical analysis of solids with sample digestion
  • X-ray fluorescence spectrometer
    • Chemical analysis of solid samples
  • Powder characterization
    • Particle size (dynamic light scattering, X-ray desimentation), Surface area by gas adsorption, Density by helium pycnometry, Zeta potential as a function of pH, Potentiometric titration of suspensions, Viscosity of suspensions (stress-controlled rheometer, strain-controlled rheometer, annular shear cell)
  • Glass characterization
    • Viscosity measurements (Beam bending, Fiber elongation, Parallel plate, Hot stage microscopy)
    • Furnace for measuring surface tension and density of melts by the pendant drop and sessile drop methods; capable of controlled atmosphere and temperature up to 1400°C
  • Optical property testing
    • UV-Vis-NIR spectrometry (transmission, specular reflectance, diffuse reflectance)
    • Fluorescence spectroscopy (includes fluorescence lifetime measurement)
    • Refractive index (Abbe refractometer, Spectroscopic ellipsometer, Becke line)
  • Thermal property testing
    • Differential thermal analysis/Differential scanning calorimetry for measuring phase changes (melting, crystallization, polymorphic phase transformations), decomposition, combustion, glass transformation temperature, heat capacity, etc.
    • Dynamic modulus analyzer
    • Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) for measuring mass change as a function of temperature under controlled; can be linked to dehydration or dehydroxylation, decomposition, nonstoichiometry, etc.
    • Dilatometry for measuring coefficient of thermal expansion, softening point of glasses, sintering profiles, etc.
    • Upcoming capabilities including TGA linked to a mass spectrometer for analysis of evolved gases and Laser Flash Thermal Diffusivity
  • Electrical Property Testing
    • DC conductivity as a function of temperature
    • Impedance spectroscopy (controlled atmosphere and controlled temperature up to 1000°C); multiple uses include AC conductivity measurements and corrosion testing.
    • Thermoelectric power measurement; Seebeck coefficient measurement
    • Measurement of capacitance, inductance, resistance, impedance, dielectric constant, loss factor, etc., at controlled temperature
    • Piezoelectric characterization by scalar and impedance circle methods
    • Measurement of strain and polarization as a function of applied field at temperatures between 20°C to 280°C at low frequencies; GHz frequencies for room temperature
    • Hall effect measurement at controlled temperature
    • Cryogenic measurement capabilities down to 15K
    • High temperature melt conductivity
  • Mechanical property testing
    • Multiple Instron universal testing frames with fixtures for tenile testing, compression testing, flexure testing, etc.
    • Hardness indentation
    • Ultrasonic measurement of elastic modulus
    • Environmental chamber for testing at controlled temperature (-34°C to 190°C) and controlled humidity (10% to 95% RH); upcoming capabilities include a chamber for high temperature testing
    • High speed camera for ballistics testing
  • Digital fabrication
    • Laboratory scale and pilot scale systems for additive manufacturing using the binder jetting technique
    • 5 axis CNC machining system capable of working with brittle materials
    • Coordinate measurement machine for part inspection
    • Laser cutting
    • Thermoplastic rapid prototyping equipment
    • Siemens NX software for integrated CAD/CAM/CAE
  • Biomaterials testing
    • Standard laboratory equipment including: incubators for cell culture, centrifuges, freezers (-20°C, -80°C), flow hood for sterile work, autoclaves, Coulter counter, gel electrophoresis (native and denatured), freeze dryer
    • Multi-well plate UV-Vis spectrometer
    • Inverted optical microscope with fluorescence imaging capability
    • Cytotoxicity testing (Live/dead cell assays, cell morphology)
    • Antibacterial testing
    • In-vitro reactivity testing
    • Interactions of biological molecules with material surfaces

For more information, or to discuss potential projects, please contact:
Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT)
1 Saxon Street
Alfred, NY 14802
Phone: 607-871-2473
Gottfried@Alfred.edu
www.cact.alfred.edu