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John  Kieffer

John Kieffer



2018 HH Dow

T: (734) 763-2595


M.S. (Metallurgy) Clausthal Technical University, 1980
Ph.D. (Materials Science) Clausthal Technical University, 1985

Currently Teaching:

Research Interests:

Future technologies depend on the development of novel materials that exhibit specific structural organization and functionality at the nanometer scale. To realize such materials designs, and to assure reliable and cost-efficient manufacture, materials systems must be developed that arrange into the desired patterns with minimal intervention, i.e., systems that possess a strong inherent tendency to self-assemble. Moreover, one needs to be able to trigger and control such autonomous structuring and organization capabilities of materials.
With our research, my students and I work to elucidate the fundamental relationships between processing conditions, structure, and properties of ceramics, hybrid polymer-inorganic composites, and nano-porous materials. We use a synergistic combination of atomic scale computer simulations and scattering experiments to study the processes of molecular assembly in these materials, which include transport phenomena, phase stability, and structural transitions. Our research focuses on materials for photonics, dielectrics, and structural mechanical applications. Current projects include:
- Multi-scale simulation of the structural assembly of hybrid nano-composites
- Simulation of phase transformations
- Exploration of chaos theory for the characterization of the dynamics and phase character of materials
- Study of deformation mechanisms and brittle fracture in ceramics using large-scale molecular dynamic simulations
- Investigation of fundamental aspects of glass formation in substances with strong non-linear optical characteristics