33. EXPLORING THE FUNDAMENTAL BEHAVIOR OF TAILORED NANOSCALE CARBIDE MORPHOLOGIES: MATERIALS BY DESIGN FOR ULTRA-HIGH TEMPERATURE APPLICATIONS

Department: Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Research Institute Affiliation: Agile - CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems
Faculty Advisor(s): Olivia A. Graeve

Primary Student
Name: Tianqi Ren
Email: tren@ucsd.edu
Phone: 217-898-8771
Grad Year: 2017

Abstract
Many of the Group IV transition metal carbides such as tantalum carbide (TaC), hafnium carbide (HfC), zirconium carbide (ZrC), and niobium carbide (NbC) are classified as ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) due to their high melting temperatures (typically greater than 3300 K). These UHTCs have drawn increasing attention for aerospace applications such as hypersonic vehicles and scramjets due to their excellent thermo-mechanical properties. In this project, we are exploring the possibility of controlling the particle morphology of transition metal carbides through dopant incorporation. TaC doped with yttrium (TaC:Y), niobium (TaC:Nb) and zirconium (TaC:Zr) is currently being investigated. Powder samples have been synthesized using a solvothermal method, resulting in average particle sizes less than 200 nm. We have observed promising cube-like sharply-edged particles in TaC:15Y (15 at% yttrium) as well as TaC:10Zr (10 at% zirconium) under scanning electron microscopy (SEM). X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns support our expectation that all three dopants can be successfully incorporated into the TaC matrix with negligible signs of oxidation. Further characterization will be performed on determining the exact location of the doping elements under high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM).

Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Materials

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