Nanocrystalline materials are physically distinct from conventional polycrystalline materials. As a result of the large volume fraction of atoms residing within the intercrystalline network (i.e. grain boundaries and triple lines, etc.), nanocrystalline materials have many exceptional physical, chemical and mechanical properties. For example, substantial increases in strength and hardness can be achieved by grain size reduction below the 100 nm range. Hence, metals/alloys as well as ceramic- and polymer-matrix composites are produced, studied and optimized with respect to phase formation and distribution, texture, thermal stability, adhesion, etc. Typical production methods are electroplating, thermal spray techniques, and mechanical alloying.
Prof. Glenn Hibbard (University of Toronto), Prof. Werner Skrotzki (TU Dresden), Prof. Atul Chookshi (IISc Bangalore), Prof. Steven Savage (FOI).