Welcome

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 / 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


Recent Group News

Girl Scouts Logo
February 2015- PI Nicholas served as a group liason and organizational assistant for the third annual Michigan State Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Demo Day. During the event, 230 girls and troop leaders participated in 25-minute, hands-on demonstrations on "Plants that Move", "Electricity and Mangetism", "Solar Energy", Chloroplast Division", "Basic Lung Function", "Bacteria", "Stream Restoration", "Lip Gloss Manufacture", "Smashing Nucleii", "The Mystery Fish of Science", "Mathematical Patterns", "Face Recognition", "High Speed Photography of Physical Interactions", "Computer Science Puzzles", "Scanning Electron Microscopy of Everyday Objects", The Hydrologic Cycle", "Animal Hospital", and "Fruit Batteries and Fuel Cells".

ACERS
January 2015- PhD Candidate Ted Burye gave an oral presentation on "The Effect of Precusor Gel Desiccation, Ceria Oxide Pre-Infiltration, and Solution Composition on the Size of Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite-Lanthanum Strontium Cobaltite Infiltrate Nano-Particles" at the 39th International Conference and Exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites in Daytona Beach, FL. At this meeting, Dr. Nicholas gave an oral presentation on "A New Curvature Relaxation Technique to Perform Simultaneous, In Situ Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficient and Stress Measurements on Dense or Porous Films"
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J Power Sources
November 2014- Our paper showing that precursor nitrate solution desiccation can be used to tailor the average size of infiltrated La0.6Sr0.4Co0.8Fe0.2O3-x nano-particles (and hence improve SOFC cathode performance) was published in the Journal of Power Sources.
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JES Logo
October 2014- The Journal of the Electrochemical Society Focus Issue on Mechano-Electro-Chemical Coupling in Energy Related Materials and Devices edited by Dr. Nicholas and his colleagues is now online.
Click here for the Table of Contents

MEC Coupling
October 2014- Our reflections on the definition of mechano-electro-chemical coupling (made in collaboration with Dr. Yue Qi, Dr. Sean Bishop, and Dr. Partha Mukherjee) can be found in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society Focus Issue Introduction to Mechano-Electro-Chemical Coupling in Energy Related Materials and Devices.
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PhD Program Advancement
September 2014- Congratulations to newly graduated group member Dr. Qing Yang for securing a post-doctoral research position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source. Welcome to new group members Quan Zhou, Eric Straley, Yuxi Ma and Riley O'Shea!
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DOE
September 2014- In conjunction with Dr. Yue Qi, and Dr. Thomas Bieler, the Nicholas Group received a Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program Award on "Durable, Impermeable Brazes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells". We appreciate the support!
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Ceramics Int
September 2014- Our paper detailing 8 mol% Yttria Stabilized Zirconia sintering additive impacts was published in Ceramics International. Congratulations to undergraduate Andrew Flegler for publishing this, his first peer-reviewed journal article.
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JES Logo
August 2014- Our paper showing how the curvature relaxation technique can be used to the extract oxygen surface exchange coefficients of porous thick film materials was published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society. In this paper, we have also observed a temperature-induced transition from grain boundary dominated chemical expansion to lattice dominated chemical expansion, for the first time.
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PhD Program Advancement
August 2014- Congratulations to Dr. Qing Yang for completing his PhD! The title of Qing's dissertation is "Development and Use of a New Curvature Relaxation Technique to Measure the In Situ Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients and Stress of Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite Films".

JES Logo
July 2014- Dr. Nicholas delivered an invited "Using Mechano-Chemical Coupling to Probe Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients" presentation at the Solid State Studies in Ceramics Gordon Research Conference.
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Fusion Conferences Logo
July 2014- Dr. Nicholas delivered an invited "Separate Grain Boundary and Bulk Response in the Stress and Oxygen Surface Exchange Behavior of Lanthanum Strontium Iron Oxide Films Measured by the Curvature Relaxation Technique"presentation at the Oxide Thin Films for Advanced Energy and Information Applications Conference.
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ECS Poster Award
May 2014- Congratulations to Nicholas group member Tridip Das for an Electro-chemical Society Poster Award for his poster on "Comparison of Density Functional Theory Predictions with Experimentally Measured Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite Thin Film Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients". Tridip is co-advised by Dr. Yue Qi.

ECS Logo
May 2014- At the 225th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society Theodore Burye gave an oral presentation on "Tailoring Mixed Ionic and Electronic Conducting Nano-Particle Size through Desiccation and/or Sequential Infiltration" and Qing Yang gave an oral presentation on "Porous Thick Film Low Temperature Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficient Measurements by Curvature Relaxation". Symposium A3, which was lead-organized by Dr. Nicholas and explored the interplay between the mechanical, electrical, and chemical properties of battery, fuel cell, and other energy-related materials/devices, was very successful with 42 oral presentations and 3 posters over 3 days.

PhD Program Advancement
May 2014- Congratulations to group members Qing Yang, Theodore Burye, and Tridip Das for passing their PhD Defense, Comprehensive Examination, and Qualifying Examination, respectively.
...older group news


References
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).