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RAP opportunity at Naval Research Laboratory     NRL

Coupling Between Charged Defects and the Applied Electric Field during Flash Sintering


Naval Research Laboratory, DC, Materials Science & Technology

opportunity location
64.15.85.B6139 Washington, DC 203755321


name email phone
Noam Bernstein 202.404.8628
Steven C. Erwin 703.899.6821
C. Stephen Hellberg 202.767.3934


Application of an external electric field has been shown to decrease the temperature needed for sintering and to increase the densification rate. The effect, called “flash sintering,” is striking: In yttria-stabilized zirconia, the application of a field of 120 V/cm decreases the sintering temperature from 1500oC to below 900oC and the densification, which takes hours without the applied field, occurs in seconds.

The objective of this research is to determine the processes that cause flash sintering. Recently, we showed that the density of point defects increases dramatically during flash sintering. We will investigate the coupling between charged point defects and the applied electric field using first principles density functional theory calculations and model Hamiltonians. The work will be performed in collaboration with experimental efforts on flash sintering.



Cologna M, Rashkova B, Raj R: "Flash Sintering of Nanograin Zirconia in < 5 s at 850oC." Journal of the American Ceramic Society 93: 3556-3559, 2010


key words
Density functional theory; Theoretical physics; Computational physics; Model Hamiltonians; Solid phase and solids; Condensed matter; Materials science; Atomistic simulations; Computer simulations; Electronic structure; Free Energy; First Principles;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens and permanent residents
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$94,199.00 $3,000.00
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