Welcome to Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is a research-centered educational environment whose mission is to enhance the productivity, quality, and benefit of materials-related learning to its students, faculty, and community. DMSE bears a commitment to the improvement of materials technology as an advantaged academic unit equipped with state-of-the-art facilities in areas of materials surface analysis, mechanical characterization, and an extensive suite of advanced electron microscopy instrumentation that act in synergy to consistently thrust us among the top tiers of materials research institutions in the nation.


Prof. Sehirlioglu received the NSF Early Career Development Award

Prof. Sehirlioglu received the NSF Early Carrer Development Award for his proposal on "Controlled processing of self-assembly in single crystal oxide films,". The five year project will focus on creation of super-structured oxide ceramics by designing interfacial materials physics. The objective of this project is to verify the hypothesis that self-assembly of octahedral building blocks of perovskites can be controlled by hetero-epitaxy leading to structures not available in bulk that can enable new functions, as local distortions lead to two-dimensional behavior - electrical, magnetic, thermal or ionic in nature - near the interface. The project is highlighted at Case Daily "Big investment on the smallest matters".

Congratulations to Will Huddleston! First place in the poster competition in EMA meeting.

William Huddleston won the first place for the poster competition in the American Ceramic Society's Electronic Materials and Applications Meeting held in Orlando, FL (Jan 17-19, 2018). His poster was on "Freeze casting of LAGP electrolyte for textured 3D all-solid-state lithium-ion battery multifunctional composites". His work included collaboration with researchers at NASA Glenn Research Center. 

Congratulations to Zhe Ren and Aaron Washburn on winning the 1st and 2nd place Poster Awards at the 29th ASM-Heat Treating Conference!

Zhe Ren and Aaron Washburn were awarded the 1st and 2nd place, respectively, of the poster competition at the 29th HEAT TREATING SOCIETY CONFERENCE & EXPOSITION held in Columbus (Oct. 24th~26th, 2017). Zhe’s poster was on “Surface Treatment of Co─Cr Alloys by Low-Temperature Nitrocarburization” and Aaron’s work was on “Heat Treat Optimization of Inconel 718 Cladded H13 Forging Dies for Enhanced Die Life.” Zhe is a doctoral researcher in Prof. Frank Ernst’s group. Aaron is working on his masters with David Schwam. They will receive awards in the amount of $1,000 and $700, respectively, from ASM International.  

Prof. Sehirlioglu will be serving as an AdCom member of IEEE-UFFC

Alp Sehirlioglu will be serving at a position of elected AdCom member for IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society (UFFC-S) in 2018/19. AdCom is the governing body of UFFC-S and is responsible for setting Society policies and overseeing all aspects of Society operations. He will be one of the 12 elected AdCom members with voting privileges, representing the Ferroelectrics community. AdCom meets twice a year.


Case Western Reserve University’s SDLE Center receives $1.47 million SunShot grant

The Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension (SDLE) Research Center at Case Western Reserve University, an organization that conducts degradation research on solar energy devices and materials, has been awarded a $1.47 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. The project will focus on testing the interactions of a new commercial silicon solar cell technology, called passivated emitter rear cell (PERC), with the packaging materials in solar panels aged under accelerated and real-world conditions.

PERC cells recently have been introduced to the solar market but present new concerns for lifetime and long-term power loss. Additionally, new packaging strategies must be considered to extend solar panel lifetimes beyond the current standard of 20 to 25 years. Using novel characterization methods in the lab and in the field, researchers will identify degradation mechanisms that shorten the lifetime of PERC cells, the backsheet on the rear surface and materials that encapsulate the cells.

“While PERC cells increase module efficiency from about 18 percent to 20 percent, a tremendous improvement in initial energy yield, the big challenge now is demonstrating the reliability of PERC modules compared to traditional crystalline silicon modules,” said Roger French, Kyocera Professor of Materials Science at Case Western Reserve and director of the SDLE Research Center.

The project team spans from academic reliability and device scientists at Case Western Reserve, the University of Central Florida and the University of Connecticut, to module and cell materials companies such as DuPont and Cybrid, to module manufacturer and power plant owner Canadian Solar. The degradation science approach incorporating advanced characterization techniques into time-series data streams allows for exploratory statistical data analytics and network modeling for rapid hypothesis generation and testing.

The SDLE Research Center was selected as a part of the Sunshot Initiative’s Photovoltaics Research and Development 2 funding program, which seeks to transform PV module design, explore high-risk emerging technology research, and devices and designs that facilitate rapid solar installation. Projects under this program will investigate new solar technology innovations that have the potential to make solar power affordable throughout the United States.

By identifying mechanisms of power loss in PERC modules, this research will improve the long-term reliability of PERC solar modules, thereby helping to reduce the cost of solar power.