Professor Chan's Research Group

Siu-Wai Chan
Professor of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Tel: (212) 854-8519
Fax: (212) 854-8257


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sc. D. (Materials Science and Metallurgy) - 1985

Columbia University, B. S. (Materials Science and Metallurgy) - 1980

Professional Activities

Chair Symposium on Nanostructural Materials at 2001 American Ceramic
Chair Symposia on High Temperature Superconductors at 1998 & 91 MRS Fall Meetings
Chair for various sessions at different MRS Meetings
Organizer of Prof. Nowick Symposium 1994
President 1994 & Secretary 1993 of the Materials Science Club
Panelist for National Science Foundation's program on Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers
Reviewer on Materials Science Projects for NSF and Hong Kong University Research Council
Reviewer for Philosophical Mag., Appl. Phys. Lett., J. App. Phys. and J. Mat. Res.

Current Research

Transmission electron microscopy; thin films, grain boundaries and interfaces; high Tc superconductors; electronic ceramics.

The focus of my research is a systematic study of grain boundaries and interfaces relating their geometry, structure, chemsitry, and energetics with their electrical properties.

Grain boundaries, despite their importance in technological materials, are among the least understood areas in materials science because of their complexity. There are working devices, for example: high temperature superconducting quantum interference devices (squids) likely to be used in the first magnetic cardiograms, zinc oxide varistors in surge protectors, and positive temperature coefficient (PTC) materials in temperature activated switches. They all use novel eletrical transport properties of grain boundaries. Since five geometric parameters are generally needed to specify a boundary, not all grain boundaries are alike even in the same materials. Therefore, contradicting results involving eletrical measurements on boundaries are not uncommon in the literatrue. A significant part of our research is to identify boundary types that have similar electrical responses to facilitate the usage of boundaries in devices.

In addition to isolating a particular boundary to observe its structure by high resolution electron microsopy, and relate that to its electrical properties measured, we are also examining an assembly of boundaries and the combined effects on percolation paths and electrical transport. Computational methods in predicting the types of boundaries remained and the general orientation texture after grain growth are being developed.

In an overall theme, our research is aimed at searching for the basic understanding of boundaries and interfaces and applying the knowledge for better engineered electrical properties of materials for applications and new devices.


Advance Fellow - National Science Foundation
and the University of Washington (2004)
Tan Fellow (2004)
Guggenheim Fellow (2003)
IBM Faculty Award (1998)
Outstanding Woman Scientist Award (1997)
Presidential Faculty Fellow from the White House and the National Science Foundation (1993)
Very Important Parent - Luther Lee Emerson School in Demarest, NJ (1992)
DuPont Faculty Award (1991, 1992)
Sigma Xi (1982)
Tau Beta Pi (1979)
Francis B. F. Rhodes Prize (1980)

Professional Affiliations

American Ceramic Society
Materials Research Society
The Minerals, Metals, Materials Society (TMS)
American Physical Society
Society of Women Engineers
International Committee of Diffraction Data

Publications (Highlights)

Feng Zhang, Peng Wang, J. Koberstein, S. Khalid, and Siu-Wai Chan, "Cerium oxidation state in ceria nanoparticles using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy" Surface Science, 563, 74 (2004).

Feng Zhang, Qing Jin and Siu-Wai Chan, "Ceria Nanoparticles: Size, Size Distribution and Shape" J. App. Phys, 95, 4319 (2004).

Siu-Wai Chan, Q. Jin, Jack W. H. Tsai, S.C. Tidrow, and Q. Jiang, "Faceting and Critical Current Densities of [001] High-Angle Tilt Boundaries in YBCO Films" IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 13, 2829 (2003).

Oratai Jonprateep, and Siu-Wai Chan, "Twin Spacing and Its Correlation with Critical Current Density in Melt Textured YBCO with Yttria Nanoparticle Addition" IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 13, 3502 (2003).

C. Tian, Siu-Wai Chan, "Electrical Conductivities of (CeO2)1-x (Y2O3)x Thin Films" J. Am. Cer. Soc., 85 (9), 2222 (2002).

Vasili Perebeinos, Siu-Wai Chan, and Feng Zhang, "Madelung-Model Prediction for the Lattice Constant Scaling with the Size of Ionic Nanocrystals of CeO2 and BaTiO3" Solid State Communications, 123 (6-7), 295-297 (2002).

Richard D. Robinson, Jonathan E. Spanier, Feng Zhang, Siu-Wai Chan, and Irving Herman, "Visible Thermal Emission from Sub-Bandgap Laser Excited Cerium Dioxide Particles" J. App. Phys, 92, 1936 (2002).

Feng Zhang and Siu-Wai Chan, "Microstructure of Film Growth from Filtrating Mono-dispersed Particle Suspension" J. Mat. Res., 17, 1055-1060 (2002).

Q. Jin and S.-W. Chan, "Grain Boundary Faceting in YBCO Bicrystal Thin Films on SrTiO3 substrates" J. Mat. Res. 17, 323-334 (2002).

Feng Zhang, Siu-Wai Chan, Jonathan E. Spanier, Ebru Apak, Qiang Jin, Richard D. Robinson, and Irving Herman, "Cerum Oxide nanoparticles: size-selective formation and structure analysis" Appl. Phys. Lett., 80, 127 (2002).

Jack W. Tsai, Siu-Wai Chan, John Kirtley, S.C. Tidrow, and Q. Jiang, "The Variation of Critical Current Density with Boundary Mis-orientation and Inclination Measured Using Scanning SQUID Microscope" IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 11, 3880 (2001).

V.S. Boyko, Siu-Wai Chan, and M. Chopra, "Shape of a Twin as Related to the Inelastic Forces Acting on Twinning Dislocations in YBa2Cu3O7-x" Phys. Rev., 63, 224521 (2001).

C. Tian, and Siu-Wai Chan, "Ionic Conductivities, Sinistering Temperatures and Microstructures of Bulk Ceramic CeO2 Doped with Y2O3" Solid State Ionic, 135, 89-102 (2001).

Jack W.H. Tsai, Shiun Ling, Julio C. Rodriguez, Zarina Mustapha, and Siu-Wai Chan, "Grain Growth Simulation of [001] Textured YBCO Films Grown on (001) Substrates with Large Lattice Misfit: Prediction of Mis-orientations of the remaining Boundaries" J. Elec. Mat., 30, 422-431 (2001).

Chunyan Tian, Yang Du, and Siu-Wai Chan, "Preparation and microstructural study of CeO2 thin films" J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A, 15 (1), 85 (1997).

K. T. Schonenberg, Siu-Wai Chan, D. L. Harame, and M. Gilbert, "The stability of Si1-xGex strained layers on small-area trench-isolated silicon" J. Mat. Res., 12 (2), 364 (1997).

M. Chopra, Siu-Wai Chan, R.L. Meng, and C.W. Chu, "Y2BaCuO5 addition and its effects on critical currents in large grains of YBa2Cu3O7-x: A quantitative microstructural study" J. Mat. Res., 11 (7), 1616 (1996).

M. Chopra, Siu-Wai Chan, V.S. Boyko, R.L. Meng, and C.W. Chu, "Twin structure in large grains of YBa2Cu3O7-x as affected by the dispersion and volume fractions of Y2BaCuO5" in B. Batlogg, C.W. Chu, W.K. Chu, D.U. Gubser, and K.A. Muller (eds.) Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary HTS Workshop on Physics, Materials and Applications, xxi+714, 175-6 (1996).

Siu-Wai Chan, and V.S. Boyko, "Mobility of grain boundary dislocations during the conservative untwisting of [001] twist boundaries" Phys. Rev. B, 53 (24), 16579 (1996).

Siu-Wai Chan, L. Zhao, C. Chen, Qi Li, and D.B. Fenner, "Interface between gold and superconducting YBa2Cu3O7-x" J. Mat. Res., 10 (10), 2428 (1995).

Siu-Wai Chan, "Nature of grain boundaries as related to critical currents in superconducting YBa2Cu3O7-x" J. Phys. Chem. Solids, 55 (12), 1415 (1994).

Siu-Wai Chan, "Degenerate epitaxy, coincidence epitaxy and origin of "special" boundaries in thin films" J. Phys. Chem. Solids, 55 (10), 1137 (1994).

D.P. Hampshire and Siu-Wai Chan, "The critical current density in high fields in epitaxial thin films of YBa2Cu3O7-x flux pinning and pair breaking" J. App. Phys., 72 (9), 4220 (1992).

Siu-Wai Chan, D.M. Hwang, and L. Nazar, "Microstructure of YBa2Cu3O7-x thin films grown on single-crystal SrTiO3" J. App. Phys., 65 (12), 4719 (1989).

Siu-Wai Chan and R.W. Balluffi, "Study of energy vs. misorientation for grain boundaries in gold by crystallite rotation method. II. Tilt boundaries and mixed boundaries" Acta Metal. 34 (11), 2191 (1986).

Prof. Chan's Research Group. Last update: 10/8/05
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