Mecartney Research Group

Research interests – fundamental

Research interests – applied

Funding (MLM as Principle Investigator)

Projects Under Investigation

Flash Sintering

High Entropy Ceramics


Synthesis of LaPO4 (Monazite) by Direct Precipitation and Processing

This unique material, monazite, can be synthesized at low temperatures using a direct precipitation method. Studies are on going on how best to process this material for proton conducting solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and light emitting diodes (LED).

Fig.1 Monazite Project Fig.1 Monazite Project

Multiphase Ceramics for Inert Matrix Nuclear Fuel

Multiphase ceramics used in nuclear fuel can improve thermal conductivity, accomodate fission products, and increase thermal shock and plasticity.

Fig.3 Nuclear Project
Fig.4 Nuclear Project
Fig.5 TEM Picture of Radiation Damage in Alumina

Computational Modeling of Mulitphase Ceramics

Through the use of computational modeling, the properties of multiphase ceramics can be predicted. Thermal, mechanical and electrical properties of different phases can be evaluated to understand how composition and microstructure affect bulk material behavior.

Fig.6 Computational Modeling of Mulitphase Ceramics Fig.7 Computational Modeling of Mulitphase Ceramics Fig.8 Computational Modeling of Mulitphase Ceramics Fig.9 Computational Modeling of Mulitphase Ceramics

Thermal Shock Resistance of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia

Zirconia based electrolytes show very poor thermal shock resistance to rapid temperature changes which can result in a total loss of mechanical strength. Applications such as SOFC and oxygen sensors can experience failure due to the low thermal shock stability of the electrolyte. Our studies show how the addition of second phases can improve thermal shock resistance

Fig.10 TSR of YSZ

Deformation Mechanisms in Mullite

Electron microscopy is used to determine the basic deformation mechanisms including dislocation Burgers vectors and slip planes.

Fig.11 Mullite Project Fig.12 Mullite Project Fig.13 Mullite Project

Past Projects

The Effect of Water Vapor on Diffusion in Ceramics

Experimental results indicate effective faster diffusion of oxygen in alumina exposed to water vapor at high temperatures.

Synthesis and Structural Analysis of Magnetoplumbite-type Ceramics

Ceramic materials with the complex magnetoplumbite-type (M3+M2+MAl11O19) types crystal structure are synthesized for use as nuclear waste hosts and for catalytic combustion processes.

Design of Superplastic Ceramics

Multiphase fine grain microstructures allow superplastic net-shape forming at high temperatures yet still maintain high strength at room temperature.