The ‘Structure-Property Optimisation Group’ is focused on the characterization of materials to understand the interplay between materials processing, materials microstructure and materials properties. When materials are manufactured variations in processing parameters or materials feedstocks will affect microstructure and chemistry. Changes in structure will, in turn, affect properties and behaviour, whether mechanical properties or functional behaviour. The focus of the group’s work is in characterization of materials structure and correlation to both processing routes and behaviour.
Detailed characterization of materials can be achieved through a range of analytical tools. Emphasis of the group’s work is based on analysis through methods such as electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, vibrational spectroscopy and various form of spectroscopy used to determine sample structure, chemistry and crystallography. Students in the group will graduate with high levels of competency in these methods. In addition, emphasis of the group’s work is on the mechanical behaviour of surfaces and interfaces, which are investigated through methods such as nano-indentation, wear and scratch testing.