SIMPLE Fit to SSC_GDCWelcome to the Solid State Ionics Group 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 electrode performance modeling / micro-structural optimization. Some of our recent accomplishments include the publication of most highly cited gadolinium doped 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 an 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

Group News

Girl Scouts Logo
February 2014- 65 Girl Scouts and troop leaders participated in the second annual Michigan State Girl Scout Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Demo Day. This event, organized by Dr. Nicholas, featured faculty, staff and student led demo sessions on Logic Puzzles, Fruit Batteries and Fuel Cells, The Mystery Fish of Science, Engineering your Food, Materials in Engineering, Nuclear Fragmentation Box, Electron Microscope Guessing Game, Making Sense of Scents, and Measurements on the Human Body.
Photos Available Here

ECS Interface
Januaray 2014- Highlights from the 2013 National Science Foundation Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Promise, Progress, and Priorities (SOFC-PPP) Workshop are published in the Winter 2013 issue of ECS Interface.
Publication Available Here

Thermec 2013 Logo
December 2013- At the Thermec 2013 Meeting, Dr. Nicholas gave an invited oral presentation on "Next Generation Techniques for Reduced Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells" explaining how infiltrated nano-particle sizes can be tuned by varying precursor nitrate decomposition conditions.

ECS Logo
October 2013- At the Fall 2013 Electrochemical Society Meeting, Qing Yang gave an oral presentation on "Low Temperature Strontium Ferrite Thin Film Stress and Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficient Measurements"

SSI Cover
September 2013- Our paper announcing how our new in situ, electrode-free curvature relaxation technique can be used to measure the oxygen surface exchange coefficients of mechano-chemically active materials was published in Solid State Ionics.
Publication Available Here

Army Logo
August 2013- The Nicholas Group received an Army Research Office STIR Grant on "Strain Engineering Defect Concentrations in Reduced Ceria for Improved Electrocatalytic Performance". We appreciate the support. Check our website in a few months for exciting results on mechano-chemical coupling in the important catalyst gadolinium doped cerium oxide.

NSF Logo
July 2013- The Nicholas Group received an National Science Foundation CAREER Award on "Strain Engineered Mixed Ionic Electronic Conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Anode Catalysts". We appreciate the support. Check our website in a few months for exciting results on mechano-chemical coupling in lanthanum strontium chromium manganate (LSCrM), and the performance of LSCrM infiltrated SOFC anodes.

J Mat. Sci. Cover
July 2013- Our paper detailing the hardness of Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 as a function of porosity was published in the Journal of Materials Science.
Publication available here

July 2013- The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Promise, Progress, and Priorities (SOFC-PPP) workshop was a great success thanks to the enthusiastic and insightful contributions of workshop participants from academia, industry and the U.S. government. The full workshop report will be available at www.sofcwg.org in January of 2014, and a peer-reviewed workshop summary will appear in the Winter 2013-2014 issue of ECS Interface.

ECS Logo
June 2013- The Spring 2014 Electrochemical Society Meeting "A3: Mechanical-Electrochemical Coupling in Energy Related Materials" Symposium Call for Papers is announced. The Nicholas Group is helping to organize this event.

Research Forum
May 2013- Qing Yang gave a presentation at the Michigan State University Chemical Engineering and Materials Science 2013 Research Forum entitled "Probing the Catalytic Activity of La0.6Sr0.4FeO3-x Thin Films via a New Curvature Relaxation Technique".
Withrow Teaching Award March 2013- Dr. Nicholas won a Michigan State College of Engineering Withrow Teaching Award for "Excellence in Instructional and Scholarly Activities".

Ceramics Int
February 2013- Our paper detailing the elastic properties of Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 as a function of porosity was published in Ceramics International.
Publication available here
...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).