Katsuyo Thornton

L.H. and F.E. Van Vlack Professor


2022 HH Dow
T: (734) 615-1498





Research Group

Research Staff
Larry Aagesen
Email: laagesen@umich.edu

My research interests are in the application of theoretical and computational techniques to study the evolution of microstructures and nanostructures during crystal growth, phase transformations, and coarsening, and how this evolution affects material properties. Current projects focus on the growth of semiconductor quantum dots for high-efficiency third-generation solar cell designs and predicting the mechanical properties of magnesium alloys.

Susan Gentry
Email: spgentry@umich.edu

Modeling the precipitate evolution and dynamic recrystallization of titanium-aluminum alloys alloys using the phase-field method.

Candace Gilet
Email: cgilet@umich.edu

My research centers around using phase field modeling to study solid oxide fuel cells.

Hui-Chia Yu
Email: hcy@umich.edu

My current research focuses on meso- and micro-scale modeling and simulations of electrochemical dynamics of lithium-ion battery and solid oxide fuel cell electrodes. Upon the development of the models, the thermodynamics and kinetics of the electrochemistry for the reaction, mass transport, and phase transformation in the electrode materials are studied. The complex microstructures of the electrodes, which is important for evaluating the actually electrode performance, are also considered in details in the simulations. Many different techniques, such as phase field method and smoothed boundary method, are developed and employed for the computational implementations.

Graduate Students
Victor Chan
Email: vicchan@umich.edu

My research involves using topological concepts to analyze the microstructure of materials.  The information obtained, such as connectivity and number of voids, can be related back to material properties.  This will allow us to develop quantitative relationships between the structural features and the bulk properties of a material.

My other project involves using the phase field crystal method to investigate the mechanisms and energetics of solidification. Currently, I am working to improve the predictive capability and numerical efficiency of the phase-field crystal method

Stephen DeWitt
Email: stvdwtt@umich.edu

My research is focused on modeling the growth of anodic oxide films.  I use high-field conduction theory and Bulter-Volmer kinetics to model the evolution of self-organizing nanostructures in these films.

Andrea Jokisaari
Email: anmida@umich.edu

My research focuses on phase field modeling of delta-zirconium hydride nucleation and growth in zirconium with an emphasis on understanding the physical processes underlying the microstructural evolution of zirconium alloy cladding in light water nuclear power reactors.

Bernardo Orvananos
Email: orvanano@umich.edu

I study Li-ion battery cathodes. I create mathematical models and use high performance computing in order to simulate the charge and discharge of the batteries at the molecular level. These simulations are performed using phase field method and the smoothed boundary method, by which the electrochemical processes can be modeled accounting for complex microstructures. The chemistries that I have studied include lithium cobalt oxide and lithium iron phosphate.

Chal-Lan Park
Email: challan@umich.edu

Coarsening occurs in a wide range of materials. The microstructural evolution during coarsening can greatly alter material properties. While coarsening of spherical particles have been well understood, our understanding of coarsening of complex microstructures is still limited. Therefore, in order to gain further insights into the dynamics of coarsening of morphologically and topologically complex microstructures, I use the phase-field method to evolve simulated three-dimensional microstructures and use the level-set method to calculate various interfacial properties. Through the calculated interfacial properties, we can then characterize the morphology of a system and its evolution to develop a theory of coarsening for complex structures.

Nick Patterson
Email: leftynm@umich.edu

Exploring computational methods for treating subgrid elements for unresolved interfaces in multi-material systems. The equation of interest is the diffusion equation, with applications to heat transfer as well as the diffusion approximation of radiation transport.

Nirand Pisutha-Arnond
Email: nirand@umich.edu

I am working on two aspects involving the phase-field crystal (PFC) model.  One aspect is the numerical method to improve the predictive capability of the model.  This improvement is achieved by using the rational function fit to better describe the two-body direct correlation function, which serves as an input to the model. The goal of this work is to use the improved PFC model to predict non-equilibrium behaviors of materials such as those under a finite strain rate.

The second aspect involves how to extract themodynamic properties of the system using the PFC method in a thermodynamically consistent manner.  We have found that the convectional method for extracting the elastic constants is not consistent with the method defined by a theory of thermoelasticity.  Therefore, we proposed an alternative procedure to extract the elastic constants that are consistent with the definition from the theomoelasticity theory.  This alternative method should be used to either predict the elastic constants or parametrize the model.  Currently, we are investigating on other thermodynamic quantities.

I also studied the energetics of misfit dislocations which is another important strain-relief mechanism during the heteroepitaxial growth of material systems with high lattice mismatches. The example of these systems are self-assembled iron film grown on molybdenum or tungsten, which can potentially be used in high density magnetic recording devices.

Amber Wingfield
Email: acwing@umich.edu

My research involves employing phase field modeling to explore and better understand 3D optical metamaterials derived from directionally solidified eutectics.

Chloe M. Funkhouser
Email: chloem@umich.edu

Phase-field modeling of lipid bilayer membranes, investigating phase separation to form lipid raft-like structures along with corresponding membrane shape changes.

Ali Ramazani
Email: ramazani@umich.edu

During my stay at MSE, I developed a phase field model to simulate the formation of 3D nano-photonic metamaterials from directionally solidified eutectics.