PacRim Young Investigator Forum explores big ideas in nano | The American Ceramic Society

PacRim Young Investigator Forum explores big ideas in nano

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[image above] These raft recliners were not PACRIM attendees! They are dummies used in a children’s game show that was being filmed onsite while the conference was underway. Credit: ACerS

By Dereck Nills Ferreira Muche

University of California, Davis   

The PACRIM 12 with Glass & Optical Materials Division Meeting (GOMD) 2017 in Waikoloa, Hawaii, held an interesting Young Investigator Forum focused on Design and Application of Next Generation of Ceramic Based Materials. And as a Ph.D. student, I had the opportunity to meet not only with other students but also with renowned researchers in my field. 

The forum provided me a strong basis to look for new perspectives and tendencies in our academic and research field as well as an overview of the perspectives and needs of industry. Social challenges also were discussed. I found it interesting that the funding agencies are including a social aspect in research proposals. That is, besides the technologic innovation proposed, the proposals also should bring a social benefit and demonstrate a contribution to development of society.

I also had the opportunity to attend a section dedicated to discussing new perspectives on high temperature applications of ceramic based materials.  In this section, Dr. G. Shao brought us a new generation polymer-derived ceramic sensor for extreme applications such as high temperature and pressure conditions, where this class of materials presented excellent mechanical properties at temperatures up to 2,000˚C, with good chemical resistance and good performance with high repeatability and sensitivity.

Dr. M. J. Walock from U.S. Army Research Laboratory gave a talk related to oxide–oxide ceramic matrix composites (CMC) for use in severe engine conditions. His talk showed us that ceramic matrix composites can enable high efficiency in engines. Specifically, silicon carbide based composites can be suitable for high-temperature applications and CMC for several applications being part of the engine architecture where lower temperature is required.

In this context, Dr. V. L. Wiesner, from NASA presented solutions focusing on engine applications for next generation high-temperature protective coatings in aircraft engines. The problem described by Dr. Wiesner arises from debris ingestion by aircraft engines during maneuvers where sand, ash, and volcano particles are present. This new perspective elucidates a solution where calcium magnesium aluminum silicate (CMAS), once a problem, is now incorporated in the environmental barrier coating. Dr. T. Takahashi followed her talk with new perspectives on fabricating translucent Eu-doped CaAlSiN3. Finally, Dr. S. Gupta presented work on development of novel MAX-ceramic composites targeting multifunctional applications.

New nanotechnology frontiers were discussed in several talks, covering topics such as Li-ion batteries; functional applications, morphology, and surface modification of nanoparticles; and talks on innovative manufacturing of materials such as nitridation of oxides, metal–organic frameworks; and an interesting talk about knowledge transferring from academia to industry.

Editor’s note: Muche is a recipient of an NSF-funded travel grant to attend PacRim12. The award was made to Surojit Gupta of the University of North Dakota.