Grain Growth in Metallic Films: Analysis of Ex situ and In Situ Experimental Results

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Most technologically useful materials are polycrystalline microstructures composed of a myriad of small monocrystalline cells/grains separated by grain boundaries/interfaces. Grain boundaries play a crucial role in determining the properties of materials across a wide range of scales. A grand challenge problem in engineering of polycrystals is to develop prescriptive process technologies capable of producing an arrangement of grains that provides for a desired set of materials properties. One method by which the grain structure is engineered is through grain growth or coarsening of a starting structure.

Grain growth can be viewed as the evolution of a large metastable network, and can be mathematically modeled by a set of deterministic local evolution laws for the growth of an individual grain combined with stochastic models to describe the interaction between grains. Thus, to develop a predictive and prescriptive theory, investigation of a broad range of statistical measures for microstructure evolution during grain growth in polycrystalline materials are needed and must be obtained using experiments, simulations, data analytics and mathematical modeling.

This summer project will focus on processing and analysis of experimental grain growth results. Experiments will be conducted both ex situ and in situ in the transmission electron microscope.

Name of lab: Barmak Thin Film Lab

Name of direct supervisor: Matthew Patrick

Position Dates: 6/8/2020 - 8/14/2020

Hours: 40 hours/week

Paid: Yes

Credit available: No

Location of lab: 1105A Mudd

Qualifications: Physics, chemistry, math and programming

Eligibility: Freshman (SEAS only)

Prof. Katayun Barmak,