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Coupling defects and electrical properties of ceramic materials

This projects aims to correlate the electrical properties of ceramic materials and defects within their microstructure. A novel approach will be developed to this purpose coupling together in-situ dielectric spectroscopy with in-situ micro-  nano-mechanical testing enabling the formation of defect activated by plastic deformation. The correlation between defects and electrical properties will provide information about the local deformation phenomena, while enabling to predict failure of materials.

Studying elastic and plastic mechanical behaviour of materials are usually conducted by combination of mechanical testing with diffraction or electron microscopy. Still, the novel approach of this project involves performing gradual mechanical deformation of micro structures of ceramic materials under microscope, while characterizing the evolution of defects and measuring the dielectric properties at each deformed state.

Such experiments aim to develop a correlation between the changes in the dielectric properties, the kinetics of structural defects and the plastic deformations inside the ceramic materials. This technique represents a promising non-destructive method to improve reliability of ceramic materials at the micro- and nanoscale as well as to predict their mechanical behaviour, while they are exposed to mechanical load.

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