Dr. Jincheng Du, an assistant professor with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, in collaboration with industry partner Corning Inc., will conduct research that will greatly advance the research on glass materials and can lead to rational design of new glass compositions for various technological applications.
Du was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) project to study the mixed glass former effect on the structure and physical properties of multicomponent oxide glasses used in a wide variety of industrial applications. In this four-year $363,745 award, Du will work with Dr. John Mauro (and his colleagues) at Corning Inc. (a Fortune 500 company specializing in glass and ceramic materials) to investigate the fundamental mechanism and structural origin of mixed glass former effect in glasses.
“Glass technology, like many other fields in material science, is still largely empirical or based on empirical observations. Glasses are especially so due to their complex structures. So rational design of glass composition to satisfy certain needs would be ideal but cannot be achieved without fundamental understanding on the structure and structure/property relationships, and in this case the mixed glass former effect,” Du explained.
The project, GOALI/Collaborative: Impact of Mixed Network Formers on the Structure and Properties of Oxide Glasses, will integrate state of the art computer modeling and simulations as well as characterization techniques such as NMR and neutron/X-ray diffractions. Insights gained through this study will provide the framework to guide the design of glasses as well as other brittle materials such as ceramics and polymers for many technological applications.
One graduate student RA and one undergrad summer RA will be involved in the project, which will help them gain skills in the experimental and computational sides of glass. The findings of this study will also be incorporated in the introduction of glass science and computational materials science to high school students during UNT’s ASM Materials Camp, which seeks to inspire the next generation of researchers through fun, hands-on demonstrations.
NSF’s GOALI initiative aims to synergize university-industry partnerships by making funds available to support an eclectic mix of industry-university linkages.