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

ECM Book Cover
April 2017- Our invited book chaper 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".

RSC Logo
January 2017- Our paper, produced in collaboration 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 is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
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PhD Program Advancement
December 2016- Congratulations to to Eric Straley and Yuxi Ma for passing their Comprehensive Exams!

Prime 2016
October 2016- Prof. Nicholas delivered oral presentations on "Practical Considerations for Determining Thermo-Chemically Induced Stresses, Oxygen Surface Exchange Coefficients, Elastic Constants, and Thermal Expansion Coefficients from Wafer Curvature Measurements" and " Long Range Charge Transfer and Oxygen Vacancy Interactions in Strontium Ferrite" at the Prime 2016 Meeting in Honolulu, HI.

Gordon Research Seminar Logo
July 2016- Prof. Nicholas delivered an invited presentation on "Structure-Property-Processing-Performance Relations in Nano-Composite Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes" at the Solid State Studies in Ceramics Gordon Research Seminar in South Hadley, MA.

July 2016- At the 17th Annual Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Workshop Tridip Das presented a poster on "Atomic-Scale Insights into Long-Range Charge Transfer in Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite", Quan Zhou presented a poster on "Nickel-based Braze Materials for Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Applications", Yuxi Ma presented a poster on "Computational Predictions and Experimental Characterization of Cobalt and Copper Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Brazes", and Dr. Nicholas presented an invited oral presentation on "Durable, Impermeable Brazes for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells".

ECS Logo
June 2016- Our paper showing that precursor solution desiccation or ceria preinfiltration can be used to reduce the particle sizes of all infiltrate compositions in the La0.6Sr0.4FeO3 (LSF) - La0.6Sr0.4CoO3 solid solution was published in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.
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ECS Logo
May 2016- Prof. Nicholas delivered oral presentations on "The Effect of Precursor Gel Desiccation, Ceria Oxide Pre-Infiltration, and Precursor Solution Additives on Infiltrated Lanthanum Strontium Ferrite-Lanthanum Strontium Cobaltite Solid Solution Nano-Particles" and "Intrinsic Oxygen Surface Exchange Resistance Measurements on Mixed Ionic Electronic Conducting Infiltrate Nanoparticles" at the 229th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society in San Diego, CA.

Extreme Mechanics Letters
April 2016- Our paper summarizing the design, merits, and requirements of using our novel curvature relaxation technique to perform simulataneous in situ/in operando oxygen surface exchange coefficient and film stress measurements was published in Extreme Mechanics Letters.
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February 2016- At the 2016 Michigan State Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Prof. Nicholas helped lead a station on "Predicting Atomic Structure with Computers". Thanks to PhD Student Christine James for organizing this station. Over 350 girls and parents participated in year's Introduce a Girl to Engineering activities.

January 2016- At the 40th International Conference and Expo on Advanced Ceramics and Composites in Daytona Beach, FL, Prof. Nicholas deliver an invited oral presentation on "Using Precursor Solution Desiccation, Nano-Ceria Pre-Infiltration, and/or Organic Precursor Solution Additives to Improve the Electrochemical Performance and Stability of Infiltrated Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes".
...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).