Dr. Jason D. Nicholas PhotoWelcome to the Solid State Ionics Laboratory at Michigan State University. Our mission is to develop device-enabling and cost-effective materials/processing routes for high efficiency chemical-to-electrical energy conversion / storage devices (batteries, fuel cells, chemical separators, chemical reactors, pseudo-capacitors, etc) and environmentally-aware devices (electro-chromic coatings, chemical sensors, and chemical actuators). Presently we are focused on a) mechano-chemical coupling in electro-chemically active solids, b) cost-effective processing methodologies, and c) nano-composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) electrode performance modeling and micro-structural optimization. Some of our recent accomplishments include the publication of most highly cited ceria sintering aid paper of the last decade (available here),1 the development of the world’s most highly cited nano-composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell electrode model (the SIMPLE model, described here),2-4 and the 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 (described here).5 Please check our Publications List, Google Scholar, or ResearchGate for a list of our publications.

Recent Group News

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November 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

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October 2017- Tridip Das, a student co-advised by Dr. Yue Qi and Dr Nicholas, gave an oral presentation at the 232nd Meeting of the Electrochemical Society in National Harbor, MD entitled "Predicting Oxygen Vacancy Polaron Size from D-Orbital Splitting in ABO3 (A=La, Sr; B=Mn, Fe, Co) Perovskites".

PhD Program Advancement
October 2017- Congratulations to Dr. Tridip Das for passing his PhD Defense. We wish him well at his new job at Intel!

July 2017- In conjunction with Dr. Yue Qi, Dr. Thomas Bieler, Tridip Das, Quan Zhou, and Rick Kerr, Prof. Nicholas presented two invited talks at the SOFC-XV conference in Hollywood, FL entitled "Reactive-Element Free, Silver-Based Brazes for SOFC Applications" and "First-Principles Studies of Oxygen Vacancy Interactions and Their Impact on Oxygen Migration in Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite". Quan Zhou and Yuxi Ma also gave posters on "Reactive-Element Free, Silver-Based Brazes for SOFC Applications" and "Using a Curvature Measurement Platform to Determine In-Situ Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients, Thermo-Chemical Expansion Coefficients and Elastic Constants of Oxide Thin Films", respectively.

PhD Program Advancement
July 2017- Prof. Nicholas was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor (and bought his first house).

July 2017- In collaboration with Prof. Susannah Dorfman and Mr. Yuxi Ma, PhD candidate Eric Straley and Prof. Nicholas presented posters at the COMPRES annual meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico on the "Use of Ruby Thin Films as High Spatial Resolution Fluorescent Pressure Sensors" and "Thin-Film-Enabled, High Pressure Lab-on-A-Chip Technology for Mineral Physics Applications", respectively.

June 2017- Prof. Nicholas gave an invited talk at the 21st Solid State Ionics conference in Padua, Italy entitled "Use of a Non-Contact, In situ, and Electrode-Free Wafer Curvature Technique to "Simultaneously" Measure the Stresses, Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients, Elastic Constants, and Thermo-Chemical Expansion Coefficients of MIEC Thin Films"

ECM Book Cover
April 2017- Our invited book chapter on In Situ Wafer Curvature Relaxation Measurements to Determine Surface Exchange Coefficients and Thermo-Chemically Induced Stresses is published as part of Springer's book on the Electro-Chemo-Mechanics of Solids.
Click here for the publication

ECS Logo
March 2017- Prof. Nicholas delivered an invited oral presentation to the Detroit Section of the Electrochemical Society on "Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Technology for Energy Conversion, Energy Storage and Bias-Directed Chemical Reactions".

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January 2017- Our paper with Dr. Yue Qi describing a DFT-based thermodynamics model for interacting vacancies and a new mechanism for oxygen vacancy interactions in the prototypical SOFC material SrFeO3-x 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. 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).