The research group in materials science focuses on in-situ structural characterization and multi-scale modelling to study and predict material properties. Applications range from investigating catalytic properties of thin films to modelling phase transformation in structural materials.
The main focus is on multi-scale modelling materials’ behaviour when subjected to specific environmental conditions in tandem with thermal and/or mechanical loading to predict the mechanical properties. Through such efforts, we aim to elucidate the underlying mechanisms behind material degradation and enable reliable life-time predictions for materials subjected to harsh conditions. We study mainly metallic materials, hydrides and oxides, but also polymer-based composites materials. Examples of on-going projects include ab initio-based fracture toughness modelling of hydrides; hydride precipitation using phase-field modelling; and precipitate strengthening using mean-field continuum approaches.
In-situ materials characterisation
Experimental work focuses on the characterisation of the material structure during exposure to conditions under which the materials operate or are treated or fabricated to understand the relationships between material structure and properties. The experiments make extensive use of international research facilities, especially synchrotron X-ray sources. Recent experimental activities include in-situ studies of precipitate formation in nickel-based alloys by high energy X-ray diffraction (XRD) at DESY, in-situ studies of hydride formation in zirconium using XRD at ESRF, and in-situ surface studies of catalytically active platinum-tin alloys by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy at MAX IV.