Dr. Jason D. Nicholas PhotoWelcome to the Solid State Ionics Laboratory at Michigan State University! We develop new functional materials, processing routes, characterization techniques, and high-performance devices for energy-related applications. Presently we are focused on a) mechano-chemical coupling in electro-chemically active solids, b) high-temperature ceramic to metal seals, c) nano-composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell electrodes, and d) strain-engineered thin film properties. Some of our past accomplishments include publication of the world's most highly cited "ceria sintering aid" paper,1 development of the world’s most highly cited nano-composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell electrode model (the SIMPLE model),2-4 development of a new Ni-Ag stainless steel to ceramic brazing technique,5 and development of a new in situ, electrode-free bilayer curvature relaxation technique for measuring oxygen surface exchange coefficients as a function of simultaneously measured stress state.6 Please check our Publications, Google Scholar, or ResearchGate for information on our publications. Thank you for your interest in our group!

Recent Group News
November 2018- Our patent describing how the porous nickel interlayers described here can be used to facilitate joining between a variety of materials was published online.
Click here for the patent

PhD Program Advancement
November 2018- Congratulations to Genzhi Hu for joining the group! Thanks to financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program Genzhi will be able to determine whether the porous nickel interlayer enabled silver based brazes, described here, can also be used to produce high performance Solid Oxide Fuel Cell circuit pastes.
Click here for Genzhi's Biography

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October 2018- Our paper showing how biaxial a thin film's biaxial modulus, Young’s modulus, thermal expansion coefficient, thermo-chemical expansion coefficient, oxygen nonstoichiometry, chemical oxygen surface exchange coefficient, oxygen surface exchange resistance, thermal stress, chemical stress, thermal strain, and chemical strain can all be obtained from in situ, current-collector-free wafer curvature measurements was published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
Click here for the publication

October 2018- At the Fall Materials Science & Technology Conference in Columbus, Ohio Mr. Yuxi Ma gave a talk on "Low Temperature Silver-Based Brazing of Stainless Steel to Gadolinium Doped Ceria for SOFC Applications", Mr. Thanaphong (Joe) Phonghpreecha gave a talk on "Computational Design of Metal Oxides to Enhance the Wetting and Adhesion of Silver-based Brazes on Yttria Stabilized Zirconia", Dr. Yue Qi gave an invited talk on "Computational Studies of Charge Transfer, Oxygen Vacancy Formation, and Oxygen Vacancy Ordering in Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite", and Prof. Nicholas gave contributed and an invited talks on "Porous Nickel Interlayer Enabled Silver Brazes and Circuits on Metals and Ceramics" and "A Comparison of the Wafer Curvature and X-Ray Diffractometry Determined Mechanical Properties, Defect Chemistry, and Electrochemical Performance of Praseodymium Doped Ceria Thin Films", respectively.

June 2018- Dr. Jason Nicholas, Dr. Yue Qi, Dr. Thomas Bieler, Dr. Timothy Hogan and Dr. Hui-Chai Yu would like to thank the Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Program for funding our new "High-Performance Circuit Pastes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Applications" proposal.
Click here for the Press Release

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May 2018- Our paper with Dr. Yue Qi and Dr. Brian Sheldon showing how charge disproportionation during oxygen vacancy formation determines the amount of chemical expansion, creates elastic dipoles, and produces local structural anisotropy in cubic cerium oxide was published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.
Click here for the publication

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May 2018- Thank you to the ~350 people who participated in the three day Electrochemcial Society Symposium on
Mechano-Electro-Chemical Coupling in Energy Related Materials and Devices 3. Thanks also to symposium co-organizers Nicola Perry, Gery Stafford, Keiji Zhao and Ahmet Kusoglu!

Acta Mat
April 2018- Our paper with Dr. Yue Qi and Dr. Thomas Bieler identifying oxide braze additions or substrate coatings that facilitate silver wetting and adhesion on zirconia was published in Acta Materialia.
Click here for the publication

PhD Program Advancement
March 2018- Congratulations to Yubo Zhang for passing his Comprehensive Exam!

Acta Mat
February 2018- Our paper with Dr. Thomas Bieler describing a new ceramic-to-metal joining technique utilizing transient porous nickel interlayers for improved silver-based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell brazes was published in Acta Materialia.
Click here for the publication

Journal of Materials Chemistry A
December 2017- Our paper with Dr. Yue Qi describing how doping and d-orbital splitting interact to determine oxygen vacancy polaron size across the lanthanum ferrite - strontium ferrite solid solution was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
Click here for the publication
...older group news

1. J. D. Nicholas, L. C. DeJonghe, Solid State Ionics, Prediction and Evaluation of Sintering Aids for Cerium Gadolinium Oxide v.178, p.1187 (2007).
2. J. D. Nicholas, S. A. Barnett, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Measurements and Modeling of Sm0.5Sr0.5CoO3–x–Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 SOFC Cathodes Produced Using Infiltrate Solution Additives v.157, p.B536 (2010).
3. J. D. Nicholas, L. Wang, A. V. Call, S. A. Barnett, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., Use of the Simple Infiltration Microstructure Polarization Loss Estimation (SIMPLE) Model to Predict the Measured Polarization Resistance of Infiltrated Nano-Composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes v.14, p.15379 (2012).
4. M. Shah, J. D. Nicholas, S. A. Barnett, Electrochemistry Communications, Prediction of Infiltrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode Polarization Resistance using Simple Models v.11, p.2 (2009).
5. Q. Zhou, T. R. Bieler, J. D. Nicholas, Acta Materialia, Transient Porous Nickel Interlayers for Improved Silver-Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Brazes, v.148, p.156 (2018).
6. Q. Yang, T. J. Burye, R. R. Lunt, J. D. Nicholas, Solid State Ionics, In Situ Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficient Measurements on Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite Thin Films via the Curvature Relaxation Method, v249-250, p.123-128 (2013).