The Voorhees Research Group does a wide variety of experimental, computational and theoretical materials related research; we currently have ongoing research projects on coarsening dynamics of materials, phase field crystal methods and modeling the behavior of materials used in energy applications.

The experimental portions of these research projects utilizes the groups experience in 3D characterization, including automated serial-sectioning and x-ray tomography. Coarsening experiments on liquid-solid mixtures are done in a microgravity environment on the International Space Station and land based coarsening experiments are done using synchrotron radiation to make time-resolved, in-situ observations of the coarsening dynamics of these systems. A highlight of the work done at APS can be seen here: Now Showing in 3-D: The Growth of Metallic Dendrites

Computational research within the group has consisted of phase field simulations to model grain growth in multi-phase solid systems, nano wire growth and diffusion pathways in fuel cells. This research is performed either on the groups 100 core computer or on Northwestern’s 7000+ core Quest computer.

The theoretical part of the our research consists in developing new theories to predict the behavior of materials used in energy applications, namely in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. The materials of interest in such devices are ionic conductive oxides and mixed ionic electronic conductive oxides. Understanding their performances and what factors impact them is the cornerstone to improve that technology.