Seminar: Dennis Kim

“Finding Order in Disorder: Atomic-Scale Understanding of Phase Transformations”
Wednesday, March 13 at 1:00pm
MALA 5050
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Crystalline imperfections and their dynamics are essential in phase transformations and structure-property relationships in materials. Classical methods for determining atomic structures average over many unit cells. As a result, such methods cannot correctly capture atomic-level information on amorphous packing, point defects, chemical ordering, strain, and interfaces. I will first present my recent work extending atomic electron tomography (AET) to overcome the limitations of conventional methods to obtain 3D atomic packing information with picometer precision in amorphous materials. With every atom accounted for, we can understand how atoms in amorphous solids arrange in short- to medium-range order and the implications of these findings for metallic glasses. I will then present other systems where chemical ordering and crystalline imperfections of point defects, strain, and interfaces play an essential role in phase transformations and atomic-scale structure-property relationships. Finally, I will discuss how feedback loops powered by experimental coordinates with picometer accuracy, scattering spectroscopy, and ab initio computational methods will guide materials discovery and design.


Dr. Dennis Kim is a research scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a PhD in Materials Science from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to his current position, he was a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a STROBE postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research background is in materials thermodynamics and understanding phase transformations through state-of-the-art scattering, imaging, and quantum mechanical computational techniques. He is interested in developing and optimizing materials for various applications in thermal, energy, and quantum sciences through a fundamental understanding from the atom up.