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Functional Advanced Materials for Energy Technologies Labs (FAME-Tech Labs)

The goal of the Functional Advanced Materials for Energy Technologies Labs (FAME-Tech Labs) is the design, development, and characterization of novel solids, such as hybrid nanocomposites, glasses, and ceramics, for a broad range of renewable energy technologies using state-of-the-art microstructural techniques. This effort addresses the properties of the existing materials and the development of novel materials for renewable energy and other high-tech applications. Affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the lab focuses on five broad areas: nanocrystalline ceramic composites; hydrogen storage materials; fuel cells and biofuels; matter at extreme conditions; and optically active materials.

FAME-Tech analytical capabilities include:

  • Optical Spectroscopy, which includes raman and luminescence spectroscopy with a variety of laser excitation lines for studies of material chemical composition, microstructural changes, surface mapping, stress and strain state analysis, phase composition, crystal symmetry and orientation, analysis of vibrational modes, and study in real time of the progress of chemical reactions such as polymer synthesis or nanocrystallization.
  • DSC-Differential Scanning Calorimetry and Thermo-Gravimetry, which is available for determination of caloric effects such as transformation temperatures, enthalpies, specific heats, mass changes, thermo-kinetics, oxidative stability, material purity, melting and crystallization, phase transitions, polymorphism, crystallinity, glass transitions, purity, decomposition, and corrosion.
  • High-Temperature Synthesis and Processing, which provides for controlled-atmosphere, very high temperature (up to 3,100F) melting or sintering of diverse materials and high-temperature materials synthesis, such as melt-quench processes.
  • High-Pressure Processing, which facilitates the study of materials under static pressures of up to one million atmospheres; possibilities include in-situ high-pressure optical spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and optical microscopy in the study of phase-transitions, creation of new phases, structural stability and materials decomposition.
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