Skip to main content

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 LaboratoryDr. Linan An, 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, 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 LaboratoryDr. Jiyu Fang, 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.

Crystal Growth and Epitaxy LaboratoryDr. 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, Associate 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 LaboratoryDr. Sudipta Seal, Professor
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 EnvironmentDr. Yong-ho Sohn, 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 LaboratoryDr. Raj Vaidyanathan, 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.