Key contact person: Prof. Michel W. Barsoum
Drexel University, DU, founded in 1891 by Anthony J. Drexel, is a comprehensive academic and research institution where research focuses on Society’s most taxing problems and creates responsive solutions in various sectors. DU supports interdisciplinary research programs, innovative undergraduate research opportunities, and a robust research enterprise. DU takes special pride in pioneering new frontiers in science, engineering, art and industry, contributing to the creation of new ideas, products, and services. Materials Science and Engineering is a multi-disciplinary field at the forefront of all emerging technologies and is critical for future developments in energy and the environment, health and medicine, extreme environments, and information technology. The Department of Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) at DU (http://www.drexel.edu/materials) is recognized as a leader in these areas, offering an ABET-accredited Bachelor’s degree program and Master’s and Doctoral degree programs, engaging students in instruction and research. The development of robust structural materials for operation in demanding environments is critical for applications ranging from nuclear to aerospace to automotive. Key properties, such as fatigue and corrosion resistance, strength, and microstructural stability must be designed and controlled over atomic-to mesoscopic length scales. At DU, research into advanced structural materials includes in-situ electron microscopy for direct observation of defect behaviour; the development of MAX phases – layered ceramic compounds with remarkable mechanical properties; and microstructural design of advanced alloys. Led by Prof. M.W. Barsoum, the MAX Phase Group at DU is at the forefront of development and characterization of members of the MAX phase family worldwide.
Within IL TROVATORE, DU will be responsible for fabricating various ultra-high-purity bulk MAX phase-based materials. The effort will be led by Prof. M.W. Barsoum. His research group (http://max.materials.drexel.edu) essentially put MAX phases on the map. Prof. Barsoum coined the MAX name, helped Kanthal scale up the production of MaxthalÒ powders – another moniker he came up with – and was instrumental in introducing MAX phases to LiU, UP and others in Europe and Asia. His research group will bring to this project its two decades-long know-how on the synthesis and characterisation of MAX/MXenes and will be mainly involved in WP1 with additional (advisory) contributions to WP2 & WP4. Moreover, DU will provide IL TROVATORE with unique n-irradiation data on MAX phases that will guide the ion/proton irradiation efforts in WP6. The unique n-irradiation data come from irradiation campaigns on MAX phases conducted at both MITR (MIT Nuclear Research Reactor, USA) and ATR (Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory, USA). Since the post-irradiation examination (PIE) of the irradiated MAX phases was a DU responsibility, DU also holds a key understanding of n-induced effects in MAX phases.