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Advanced Ceramics

Production of advanced ceramics, including structural materials ranging from cements, glasses and advanced ceramics such as zirconia, electronic substrates and passivation layers (SiO2, AlN), ultra-hard materials (diamond, cubic-BN, alumina and WC), is an underlying effort within several major modern industries. The energy costs in producing ceramics are high, because of the refractory nature of the materials. Recent research is focused on ceramic production by low-T chemical methods, and shaping the resulting materials into useful forms. UCL-Birkbeck-DFRL researchers have already made major advances in the field, producing SiO2-, Al2O3- and ZrO2-based ceramics as complex shapes and as thin films by thermal processing of low-density solids or precipitation from solutions, using in situ characterisation techniques to control and optimise the processes. The work includes pioneering studies of the deposition and operation of zeolitic membranes on ceramic substrates, that are used in catalytic devices and sensors. These efforts will be consolidated within the MCC, and the new interactions developed between groups of researchers and students will lead to development of future joint projects.

Structural ceramics are required to perform to high levels under adverse conditions of extremely high temperatures, high mechanical stresses including high pressures and shear strains, and chemical attack. We have the necessary expertise and we will build a world-leading capability for in situ studies of ceramics under extreme high pressure-high temperature-adverse chemical conditions, combining the UCL London-based site with complementary research facilities being developed at Rutherford-Appleton Laboratory (RAL: ISIS, Diamond), as well as at facilities worldwide (ESRF, ILL, SRS, etc.). The experimental research is underpinned by internationally-leading computational programmes existing at UCL, Birkbeck, and within the DFRL. Computational efforts in advanced ceramics will also interact strongly with the new Virtual Reality laboratory being established by Prof. P. Coveney at UCL Chemistry, and also various e-science research initiatives that already exist or are being established within CMR (Prof. M. Stoneham) and in Geological Sciences (Prof. G.D. Price).


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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 2000 - Copyright © 1999-2005 UCL

University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT - Telephone: +44 (0)20 7679 2000 - Copyright © 1999-2006 UCL
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