Dr. Jason D. Nicholas PhotoWelcome to the Nicholas Group Materials Laboratory at Michigan State University! We develop new functional materials, processing routes, characterization techniques, and high-performance devices to better understand and preserve the Earth. 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 films. Some of our past accomplishments include development of the world’s most highly cited nano-composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell electrode model, publication of the world's most highly cited ceria sintering aid paper, development of a new Ni-Ag stainless steel to ceramic brazing technique for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and other applications, and the development of a new, current-collector-free bilayer curvature relaxation technique for measuring a variety of electrochemical materials properties in situ as a function of simultaneously measured stress state. Please check our Research Summary, Publication List, Google Scholar, or ResearchGate for information on our work. Thanks for your interest in our group!

Recent Group News

PhD Program Advancement
August 2019- Congratulations to Dr. Yuxi Ma for passing his PhD Defense! The title of Yuxi's dissertation is "Mechanical, Thermal, and Electrochemical Properties of Mixed Ionic Electronic Conductors from Wafer Curvature Measurements".

July 2019- Prof. Nicholas gave an invited talk on Strain Engineered Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes at the Telluride Science Research Center Workshop on "High Temperature Energy Conversion: Electrochemical Oxidation and Reduction Mechanisms". Drs. Rob Walker, Jeff Owrutsky and Brian Eichhorn deserve a big thank you for organizing such a great workshop!

J Appl Phys
June 2019- Our paper with Dr. Susannah Dorfman showing that ruby thin films can be used for biaxial stress sensing was published in the Journal of Applied Physics.
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June 2019- Our paper showing that Ag-Ni stainless steel to YSZ braze joints perform better than conventional Ag-CuO braze joints during the early stages of dual atmosphere SOFC aging was published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.
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PhD Program Advancement
May 2019- Congratulations to Dr. Quan Zhou for completing his PhD and securing a position at Argonne National Laboratory! The title of Quan's dissertation is "New Braze Material for Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Applications".

January 2019- At the 43rd International Conference and Expo on Advanced Ceramics and Composites in Daytona Beach, FL, Prof. Nicholas delivered an invited oral presentation on "New Silver-Based Alloys for Solid Oxide Cell Brazing and Circuit Patterning" for work completed with Quan Zhou, Yuxi Ma, and Dr. Thomas Bieler.
December 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.
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PhD Program Advancement
December 2018- Congratulations to Mr. Eric Straley for completing his MS Degree. The title of Eric's master's thesis is "Ruby Thin Film Pressure Sensors".

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.
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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.
...older group news