The past three decades have witnessed a revolution at the nanoscale in materials science. With at least one characteristic dimension in the nanometer range, novel materials can be designed with unique properties for faster computers, better cars, smarter sensors, etc. Besides the above size effect, the boundary effect, referring as the confinement for embedded nanoscale constituents by the surroundings, provides numerous opportunities for further advancing nanostructured materials.
With the help of powerful techniques such as electron microscopy to probe local structures down to atomic scale, her research aims to discover superior nanostructured materials by characterizing and tuning the atomic and electronic structures of nanoscale constituents embedded in crystalline materials (e.g., functional oxides, lightweight alloys, etc.).
In her program as Canada Research Chair in Mechanical and Functional Design of Nanostructured Materials, her research team will focus on the design of new nanoscale constituents within nanostructured materials and the development of new characterization approaches to study them based on advanced electron microscopy. Furthermore, the proposed research includes the theoretical study of predicting such nanoscale constituents and the corresponding materials behaviours.
These discoveries will be used to develop new methods of discovering, predicting, and designing advanced materials with superior mechanical, electrical, or catalytic performance. Ultimately, such work could contribute to the advances in lightweight alloys and functional composites for aerospace, automotive and energy industries.