Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

NIRT: Size Dependence of Phase Transitions in Nanocrystalline Oxides

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorRichard Haglund
InstitutionVanderbilt University
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsMarginal
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorEnvironment
Broad Research Categories Characterization
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$1,105,632.00
Annual Funding$221,126.40
Funding SourceNSF
Funding MechanismExtramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2002
Anticipated End Year2007


This proposal was submitted in response to the solicitation “Nanoscale Science and Engineering” (NSF 01-157). This research project aims to explore: 1) the nature of structure-property changes or phase transitions that occur in solid materials in response to temperature, pressure, electromagnetic fields or mechanical strain; 2) the size dependence of phase transitions in oxide nanocrystals, focusing on electronic and lattice dynamics during the phase transition; 3) the effects of interfacial energy and strain; and 4) the influence of pressure, temperature, impurity doping and defect density on phase stability. These studies will produce a multi-dimensional phase diagrams for nanoscale oxide materials. In addition to training graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in advanced research techniques relevant both to science and technology, the combination of chemistry, materials science and physics research issues will provide an intellectually rich educational environment. The project brings together a multi-institutional team of faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students from chemistry, materials science and physics to explore nanoscale materials and their possible uses in technology. Outreach through Vanderbilt University’s Explorations Web site will showcase this NSF project for the general public. Connections to the Owen Graduate School of Management will couple into the rapidly growing business interests in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Understanding structural phase transformations in oxide nanocrystals is important to the development of a number of important materials technology areas that include catalysis, separation technologies, phosphor materials, thin-film electronics, photonics, and environmental remediation. Students trained in these areas will compete very favorably for jobs in high priority areas of interest to the academic, industrial, and government laboratory sectors. This project is co-supported by the Division of Materials Research, the Chemistry Division, the Physics Division, and the Chemical and Transport Systems Division.