FS5: Current Challenges in Microstructural Evolution: From Fundamentals to Engineering Applications

The performance of ceramic devices is dominated by the electronic and mechanical properties of interfaces, both internal and external. Thus, the performance is highly dependent on the structure and chemistry of grain boundaries and the structure of the grain boundary network. The atomic structure, bonding configuration, defect distributions, and segregation behavior of these boundaries, and the overall microstructure of the system, can be altered by material processing techniques and critically impact microstructure evolution (sintering, grain growth, and chemical reactions). Developing a fundamental understanding of the effect of processing techniques on modifying interfaces and of the microstructure of ceramic materials is needed to tailor their performance and optimize their applications in device technology.

This symposium explores fundamental research into the interfacial structure and composition as well as microstructure evolution in ceramic materials as it relates to processing techniques. These processing techniques include applied electric fields (FAST), mechanical fields (HP and HIP), atmosphere control. joining techniques, and high-temperature treatments. The focus is on both ceramic-ceramic and ceramic-metal interfaces including composites. In addition to experimental approaches, modelling of microstructure and interfaces at various length scales is needed to extend fundamental understanding and to apply these results to current and future applications.

Proposed session topics

  • Interface structure and chemistry
    • Atomic structure, chemistry, bonding configuration
    • Defect and segregation behavior
    • In-situ microscopy evaluation
    • Chemical reactions
  • Microstructure evolution
    • Sintering, grain growth, and grain boundary mobility
    • Nanocrystalline ceramics
    • Material properties
  • Impact of processing parameters and techniques on microstructure and properties
    • Mechanical and electric fields (e.g., SPS, FAST, HIP)
    • Extreme temperatures (e.g., cold sintering, SPS)
    • Environments (e.g., oxygen, hydrogen)
    • Joining techniques
    • Processing–structure–properties relationship (mechanics, oxidation, conductivity, and other functional properties)


  • Wolfgang Rheinheimer, Jülich Research Center, Germany, w.rheinheimer@fz-juelich.de
  • Kristen Brosnan, Collins Aerospace, USA, kristen.brosnan@gmail.com
  • John Blendell, Purdue University, USA, blendell@purdue.edu
  • Carol Handwerker, Purdue University, USA
  • Gregory Rohrer, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Ricardo Castro, UC Davis, USA
  • Michael Hoffmann, KIT, Germany
  • Yiquan Wu, Alfred University, USA
  • Olivier Guillon, Jülich Research Center, Germany
  • Gary Messing, Penn State University, USA