The research mission of the PHAse Transformation Engineering (PHATE) Research Group is to advance the science and understanding of phase transformations in materials, and to engineer high performance phase transformations for a diverse class of functional applications.
Our research is strongly motivated by applications that impact today’s society, but operates with the understanding that a strong foundation in fundamental science enables advances in engineering. Research in the PHATE group focuses on 4 primary themes:
- Energy Storage and Conversion,
- Adaptive and Reconfigurable Electronic Materials,
- Thermal Management,
- Materials Discovery and Design
Phase transformations result from delicate thermodynamic balances between one or more phases. By engineering alloy compositions, modifying structure from the atomic- to micro- to macro-scale, or by controlling defect densities and distributions, we are able to affect that balance and to alter the behavior of the phase transformation. Furthermore, we seek to understand the origins and impacts of the irreversible phenomena, and to apply that knowledge to engineer superior materials.
Our research group employs experimental techniques to explore materials structure and properties, and develops theory-driven analytical models to describe and design new materials. We work in close collaboration with computational scientists, both validating their models and using computational predictions to interpret experimental data.