Controlling Nucleation & Growth to Deliver Novel Materials Functionality

Accelerator Fund

This project has been developed from the Initiator funded Functional Materials Far from Equilibrium community.

Project period: May to November 2015

GW4 community leads

University of Bath: Professor Johannes Zimmer
University of Bristol: Dr Isaac Chenchiah
Cardiff University: Dr Stefano Leoni
University of Exeter: Professor David Wright

Project overview

In materials, nucleation is the formation of a new stable phase or structure via self-organisation. It manifests in many everyday phenomena, and a classic example is the formation of ice crystals in water. Nucleation also underpins many processes of high technological importance, ranging from classic engineering manufacturing such as casting, through phase transformations for data storage devices to self-assembly in nanotubes.

Nucleation is a scientifically challenging topic in its own right. The ability to control the formation of microstructure in phase-changing materials would have enormous benefits both for novel smart materials (memories, processors, displays) and classic engineering materials.

The aim of our interdisciplinary community is to take an integrative approach combining theoretical modelling, experiments and simulations to advance the state of the art in nucleation and crystallization theory.