Welcome to the Packard Research Group website!
We apply experimental techniques commonly used to characterize mechanical behavior and properties in structural materials to solve problems in ceramics in predominantly energy-related applications. Our research focuses on elucidating the principles and mechanisms of deformation behavior in ceramics at the micro- and nano-scales. Specific examples include efforts to determine the role of chemistry in controlling the deformation behavior in rare-earth orthophosphates; engineering fracture in high-cost semiconductors to enable dramatic photovoltaic cost reduction through wafer reuse; mechanical property mapping in organic-rich shales (naturally occurring organic/ceramic composites); identifying fracture behavior and an associated accumulation of lithium in failing lithium ion battery cathodes; and using mechanical property information to design for durability in transparent conducting oxides for photovoltaics and flexible electronics. Click on the links to the above to explore or scroll through our newsfeed on the right to explore.