May 15, 2013

UAB’s Vohra awarded grant from U.S. Department of Energy to study rare earth metals under extreme conditions

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Six-probe beveled diamond design for electrical
measurements under high pressures

University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Researcher Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., has been awarded a $480,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to investigate the behavior of rare earth metals under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. The goal is to predict how rare earth metals, used in many applications including cell phones, computer chips, jet engines and defense technology, will behave when subjected to extreme environments.

Vohra, a Professor and University Scholar in the UAB Department of Physics and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, will work with a team using a unique designer diamond technology to test the materials in extreme pressures and temperatures while simultaneously monitoring their electrical and structural properties. As part of the three-year grant, UAB graduate students and postdoctoral scholars supported by the project will receive research training at the Advanced Photon Source located at the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago and the Spallation Neutron Source located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

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