Raman spectroscopy is a critical tool used to study bonding between atoms, which allows direct interrogation of both ordered and disordered systems. Such studies often provide new understanding of the atomic-scale origins of the function and properties of materials for next-generation applications. The proposed research, largely within a materials science department, will focus on ceramics and glasses used in energy storage and renewable energy, transportation, energy conversion, health care and defense. Unique to the proposed research is the ability to perform studies at the highest temperatures currently attainable - and with positional resolution using 3-D mapping. By direct examination of materials in-situ or under operating conditions, the research teams aim to uncover new atomic scale processes that can in turn be used to make transformational progress in materials discovery and design. In addition to the research applications, the instrument will be used in graduate and undergraduate laboratory courses, providing a range of baccalaureate and graduate students with training and experience in state-of-the-art materials characterization. With integration into the High Temperature Materials Testing Laboratory (HTMT) and the new Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (AML) at Alfred University, the Raman spectrometer will be professionally marketed for use by industry and is expected to draw additional corporate users. Alfred University's strong history of industrially-funded research includes collaborations with 50 companies, and these links are expected to draw a continuous stream of corporate Raman users, with new users attracted to campus for Raman studies
Raman spectroscopy is a critical tool for uncovering the structural origins of materials properties and processing dynamics, especially when performed under conditions of controlled temperature or gaseous environment (in-situ) or under operating conditions (operando). In the atmosphere of a materials science department, high temperature Raman spectroscopy can be enabling in building comprehensive models of cation or anion disorder, defects in 2-D oxide nanosheets and related nanomaterials, glass devitrification, materials degradation mechanisms, residual stress, and similar problems. The Raman microprobe will be equipped with 3-D mapping and temperature-controlled chambers to enable discovery of new mechanisms that may lead to transformational progress in the fields of energy, environment and health care.