Materials Processing Fundamentals
These researchers develop, implement, and apply large-scale numerical simulations to understand processes that are used for the production of advanced solid-state materials. Of particular interest are processes employed for the growth of large, single crystals. These studies aim to understand factors that directly affect materials properties and production costs. The researchers have studied the growth of electronic and photonic inorganic materials via a number of melt and flux growth methods, as well as organic crystallization from the solution phase. Current materials of interest include silicon, sapphire, and bulk gallium nitride that are important for energy applications (photovoltaic and LED devices), as well as semiconductor and scintillator crystals for radiation detectors employed in national security and medical imaging applications. Process models are developed using the mathematical depiction of continuum transport (incompressible flows, heat and mass transfer), phase-change, and other interfacial phenomena. These models are solved using finite element methods, using both two-dimensional and three-dimensional implementations for steady-state and transient analyses. Bifurcation analyses, employing continuation methods, form a paradigm to understand process behavior. A continuing challenge is the development of effective and robust parallel implementations for the accurate solution of three-dimensional, incompressible flows that are characteristic of the crystal growth systems of interest. The researchers are developing and employing parallel, finite element models for these purposes.
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