The Critical Materials Institute (CMI) is developing new capabilities in the search for new materials or substitutions in existing compounds to reduce or eliminate rare earth elements in energy critical technologies. We are developing a new method to produce large number of new compounds rapidly using advanced laser processing. While there has been a considerable effort in combinatorial synthesis, there are few efforts in bulk combinatorial synthesis especially for metals.
Based on previous experience with thin combinatorial film characterization, we have built and have tested a high temperature furnace capable of 1100C in a controlled environment that allows us to do simultaneous X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for samples up to 100 x 100 mm in diameter. Currently we were able to take a data point every 30s using existing detectors. This high data acquisition rates will in turn require more investment in data handling and processing. We are looking for a person with computer skills and interest in materials to help develop data-handling procedures and analysis tools for large and variable data sets.
Mentor: Matthew Kramer, program director, Materials Sciences and Engineering, Ames Laboratory