The ceramics and ceramic processing field is designed for students interested in ceramics and glasses, including electronic materials. As in the case of metallurgy, primary and secondary fabrication processes such as vapor deposition, sintering, melt forming, or extrusion strongly influence the microstructure and properties of ceramic components used in structural, electronic, or biological applications. Formal course and research programs emphasize the coupling of processing treatments, microstructure, and properties.
The electronic and optical materials field provides an area of study in the science and technology of electronic materials that includes semiconductors, optical ceramics, and thin films (metal, dielectric, and multilayer) for electronic and optoelectronic applications.
Course offerings emphasize fundamental issues such as solid-state electronic and optical phenomena, bulk and interface thermodynamics and kinetics, and applications that include growth, processing, and characterization techniques. Active research programs address the relationship between microstructure and nanostructure and electronic/optical properties in these materials systems.
The structural materials field is designed primarily to provide broad understanding of the relationships between processing, microstructure, and performance of various structural materials, including metals, intermetallics, ceramics, and composite materials. Research programs include material synthesis and processing, ion implantation-induced strengthening and toughening, mechanisms and mechanics of fatigue, fracture and creep, structure/property characterization, nondestructive evaluation, high-temperature stability, and aging of materials.