A critical component missing from our understanding of hydrogen embrittlement is knowledge of the hydrogen concentration at specific locations such as around dislocations, grain boundaries, precipitates, and second phase particles in the metal. Until such data is observed and understood, the true mechanism of hydrogen embrittlement will be a continuous debate. Current techniques (such as tritium radiography, thermal desorption spectroscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, microprint lithography and so on) have insufficient special resolution for observing concentrations at the nanometer scale, but atom probe tomography has promising potential to detect the hydrogen concentrations with atomic resolution and is worth pursuing as a future technique.
The goal of my research is to use the Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) to successfully detect hydrogen concentrations around microscopic features in a metal, specifically steel. Steels are of particular interest due to their use in many applications in which hydrogen is present. Resolving the issue of hydrogen hydrogen embrittlement or learning how to mitigate against it is an essential component in advancing towards a hydrogen economy.
Atom Probe tomography uses field ion evaporation and a detector to create atomic resolution reconstructions of each ion of the specimen in 3-dimensional space.
PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
BS in Materials Science and Engineering, UIUC (Pending)