Tongjai Chookajorn (Materials Science and Eng.) is making stable nanocrystalline metals


October 1, 2012

MIT researchers have designed and made alloys that form extremely tiny grains — called nanocrystals — that are only a few billionths of a meter across. These alloys retain their nanocrystalline structure even in the face of high heat. Such materials hold great promise for high-strength structural materials, among other potential uses. Graduate student Tongjai Chookajorn, of MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), guided the effort to design and synthesize a new class of tungsten alloys with stable nanocrystalline structures. Her fellow DMSE graduate student, Heather Murdoch, came up with the theoretical method for finding suitable combinations of metals and the proportions of each that would yield stable alloys. Chookajorn then successfully synthesized the material and demonstrated that it does, in fact, have the stability and properties that Murdoch’s theory predicted. They have co-authored the paper with their advisor Christopher Schuh, the Danae and Vasilis Salapatas Professor of Metallurgy and department head of DMSE. Read the rest of the article on MIT newsphoto by Dominick Reuter

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