AMPAC Research Overview

Materials science and engineering (MSE) is an interdisciplinary field that impacts almost every application area. Finding or developing a material with the right properties, or with affordable fabrication costs, or appropriately characterizing the material composition and/or structure to enable development of specific material properties, is often the limiting factor and enabling technology in most applications. AMPAC faculty, affiliated faculty, and graduate students conduct in-depth research in materials science and engineering to address the requirements of several applications including energy, microelectronics, nanotechnology, life sciences, optics, aerospace, and bioengineering with the goals of enhancing scientific understanding and promoting industrial development and economic growth. With research expenditures totaling more than $3.6M per year, the UCF materials science and engineering research efforts are supported by a number of government agencies, including national laboratories, as well as private industries. The 9 AMPAC faculty and 71 students alone author over 80 refereed publications and 100 presentations per year at national and international conferences.

Current Research Area Highlights

  • Heat Transfer Issues in Electro-Optics, Computing and Power Systems, and Aircraft and Spacecraft
  • Micro-fabrication of ceramics for MEMS applications
  • Polymer-derived ceramics
  • Nano-materials/composites: synthesis and properties
  • Mechanical behavior of materials: fracture, toughening, creep, wear and fatigue
  • Thin Film Processing
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Biological Interfaces
  • Nano-scale Science and Engineering
  • Molecular Self-Assembly
  • Thin Film Solar Cells
  • Materials Characterization and Electron Microscopy
  • Computational Materials Science and Microstructural Modeling
  • Nanomaterials processing and characterization
  • Materials for optics, sensors, coatings, fuel cells
  • Oxidation & Corrosion
  • Surface Science and Engineering
  • High Temperature Materials and Coatings including Thermal Barrier Coatings
  • Materials and Coatings for Energy Production, Storage and Conversion
  • Materials for Nuclear Fuels and Cladding
  • Kinetic Energy Materials
  • Superlight-Weight Alloys for Armor and Automotive Applications


Materials research laboratories are located on campus and in the Central Florida Research Park, adjacent to the university campus. These laboratories include:

Ceramic Processing and Analysis Laboratory - Dr. Linan An, Associate Professor
Research activities in Ceramic MEMS, nano materials/composities: synthesis and properties, polymer-derived ceramics, processing-structure-property relationships of ceramic materials, mechanical behavior of materials: fracture, toughening, creep, wear and fatigue. Equipment/techniques available include Hot Isostatic Press, Environmentally-Controlled High Temperature Furnaces.

Thin Films Science Laboratory - Dr. Kevin Coffey, Associate Professor
Research activities in thin film processing, magnetic materials, solid state reactions, nanoscale materials, magnetic thin films, grain boundary diffusion. Equipment/techniques available include multiple-source UHV sputtering and evaporative deposition systems and thin film characterization.

Nano-Bio-Materials Laboratory - Dr. Jiyu Fang, Associate Professor
Research activities in biological interfaces, nano-scale science and engineering, molecular self-assembly, polymer thin films, biotechnology, soft lithography, scanning probe microscopy, liquid crystal imaging technique. Equipment/techniques available include Atomic Force Microscopes and assorted support equipment.

Processing and Microstructural Characterization Laboratory - Dr. Helge Heinrich, Assistant Professor
Research activities in microstructures and optoelectronic properties of thin-film solar cells, electron microscopy, microstructures of L10 alloys, metastable phases and defects in alloys. Equipment/techniques available include equipment for local optical beam induced current measurements.

Crystal Growth and Epitaxy Laboratory - Dr. Christine Klemenz, Assistant Professor
Research activities in bulk crystal growth of new materials, substrates, single-crystalline films, nanocrystalline ceramics, focus on piezo and ferroelectric, magnetic and magneto-optic, HP laser and NLO crystals. Equipment/techniques available include Automatic RF Czochralski pullers, Horizontal and Vertical Bridgman, Platinum Tube Liquid-Phase Epitaxy Furnace System, Crystal Orientation and Machining.

Computational Materials Laboratory - Dr. Patrick Schelling, Assistant Professor
Research activities in computational materials science, thermal transport, electrochemistry, electronic structure methods, multiscale simulation. Equipment/techniques available include 48 Cluster PCs.

Surface Engineering/Nanomaterials Processing and Plasma Nanomanufacturing Laboratory - Dr. Sudipta Seal, Director, NSTC and AMPAC, Professor MMAE
Research activities in nanomaterials processing and characterization, nanobiotechnology, materials for optics, sensors, coatings, corrosion and oxidation, surface science and engineering, chemical mechanical planarization. Equipment/techniques available include Air Plasma Spray System, Surface Characterization Tools, Hydrogen Furnace, Nano-Powder Processing.

Laboratory of Materials and Coatings for Extreme Environment - Dr. Yong-ho Sohn, Associate Professor
Research activities in multicomponent multiphase diffusion including thermotransport and electromigration, high temperature materials and coatings including thermal barrier coatings, oxidation and hot corrosion, nuclear fuels and cladding, kinetic energy materials, superlight-weight alloys for armor and autmotive applications, phase-field modeling, materials characterization. Equipment/techniques available include Cyclic, Box and Tube High Temperature Furnaces, MicroRaman, Diffusion Couple Assembly System, Arc-Melting Furnace, Simultaneous High Temperature TGA/DSC.

Processing and Mechanical Characterization Laboratory - Dr. Raj Vaidyanathan, Associate Professor
Research activities in processing and mechanical characterization of advanced materials, micro- and nanoindentation, in situ diffraction (neutron and synchrotron x-ray) at load and temperature, residual stress measurements, shape-memory alloys, bulk metallic glasses and nano-composites. Equipment/techniques available include Instrumented Nanoindentation, Arc-Melting Furnace, Rolling Mill, Differential Scanning Calorimeter, Liquid Helium Dilatometer and Servo-Hydraulic Mechanical Testing.

AMPAC-Affiliated Faculty Research Labs

NanoFAB and BioMEMS Laboratory - Dr. Hyoung-Jin Cho, Assistant Professor
Research activities in bioMEMS - micro TAS, lab-on-a-chip, ecoMEMS - environmental monitoring microsystems, microfluidic system - valve, pump and dispenser, MOEMS (Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems) - mirrors and switches, magnetic MEMS - magnetic sensor and actuator, MEMS fundamentals - UV-LIGA, electroplating and packaging, nanofabrication, polymer micromachining, multi-layered electroceramic components.

Condensed Matter Physics Laboratory - Dr. Lee Chow, Professor
Research activities include synthesis and fabrication of carbon nanotube devices, diffusion of implanted species in semiconductors, and synthesis of ZnO nanostructures and CdS thin films through hydrothermal and chemical bath deposition.

Biomaterials Laboratory - Dr. Samar Kalita, Assistant Professor
Research activities include biomaterials for hard tissue engineering: concept to characterization, osteoconductive bone grafts, matching strength-loss resorbable implants, solid freeform fabrication/rapid prototyping: design and fabrication of 3-D honeycomb porous structures to mimic structural intracacies of natural bone, and cell-derived information and nano-ceramic coatings.

Powder Processing Laboratory - Dr. C. Suryanarayana, Professor
Research is centered on advanced materials including high-temperature intermetallics, nanostructured materials, bulk metallic glasses, thin films and coatings. The processing of these materials is done under non-equilibrium conditions such as rapid solidification processing, mechanical alloying and physical vapor deposition.

UCF Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center | Engineering Building 1, Room 208 | TEL: (407) 882-1455 FAX: (407) 882-1462
4000 Central Florida Blvd. Box 162455, Orlando, Florida, 32816 |
NanoScience Technology Center