Materials Science and Engineering or Mechanical Engineering
Note to International Students: Due to U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) projects national origin is restricted to Mexico and Canada.
Dr. Ramana’s research program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is focused towards the fabrication, testing, property measurement and evaluation of novel, cost effective lead-free perovskite based materials for piezoelectric energy harvesting devices. The challenging goal of the project is to understand the fundamental scientific merits and to realize the new lead (Pb) free piezoelectric ceramics based on Ba(1-x)CaxCe(1-y)TiyO3 (BCCT). Interest in lead-free ferroelectric piezoelectric materials has surged over the years owing to the need to find a potential replacement of the commercial piezoelectric-lead zirconate titanate (PZT) based sensors and actuators, which is facing global restrictions due to toxic lead. Perovskite lead-free piezoelectrics are potentially safe and environment friendly. Thus this project is tailored to design efficient BCCT ceramics for enhanced energy harvesting by utilizing the key idea of co-doping to modify the Ba-titanate. Improved piezoelectric response is expected with calcium (Ca) and cerium (Ce) co-doping in BaTiO3 lattice.
Students will use a wide range of experimental methods and analytical techniques; they will be trained to synthesize ceramics and to characterize the microstructure of BCCT samples through X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman spectroscopy. Students will also learn the methods for electrical characterization.