Thermal Property Engineering: Exploiting the Properties of Ceramic Nanocomposites

Report No. ARL-TR-8308
Authors: Zackery Fleischman; Victoria Blair; Nicholas Ku; Larry Merkle; Carli Moorehead; Aubrey Fry; Steven Kilczewsk; Donovan Harris; Robert Pavlacka
Date/Pages: March 2018; 40 pages
Abstract: We developed dual-phase ceramic nanocomposites, as opposed to single-phase ceramics, as a potential laser gain material that could incorporate the low-maximum phonon energy necessary for efficient mid-infrared laser output with the high thermal conductivity needed for effective thermal management at high operating powers. Our materials were comprised of an undoped majority species (magnesium oxide) and a rare-earth doped minority species (erbium doped yttrium oxide). Nanocomposite powders were prepared using a novel co-precipitation method that allows for intimate mixing of the constituent species. The results of physical and optical characterization of the powders guided the synthesis parameters of subsequent batches toward optimal material conditions as defined by desired laser performance. Resultant powders went through various methods of densification followed by characterization to steer the parameters toward translucency.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2018