Symmetry, Structure, and Tensor Properties of Materials
About The Professor
Prof. Wuensch's group is performing research on single crystal or powder samples using neutron or X-ray diffraction to obtain precise values for atomic coordinates in crystals, site occupancy factors, and parameters that characterize both harmonic and anharmonic components of thermal vibration. Ordering and superstructure formation, partitioning of ions among sites in solid solutions, structural changes during phase transformations, and the thermal motion and diffusion paths of mobile ions in fast-ion conductors are examples of the sorts of problems on which they are working. Other research concerns point defects in oxides and diffusion along grain boundaries or as a function of direction in single crystals. Both stable and radioactive isotopes are employed as tracers. Their distribution is established with probes such as secondary ion mass spectrometry or electron microprobe analysis. It is necessary in most of the group's work to synthesize unique powders or single-crystals that are suitable for study. Crystal growth is frequently the main focus of a problem and a variety of methods are utilized: growth from solution or melts, chemical vapor transport, and high-pressure hydrothermal reaction.