Balk Research Group

The Balk research group applies a variety of characterization and testing techniques to investigate the structure and mechanical behavior of materials.  In particular, the group focuses on three groups of materials:

  • Thin film and bulk nanoporous metals and alloys are fabricated by dealloying precursor materials, which have been made via magnetron sputtering or arc melting.  Links between the structure and mechanical/chemical properties of these materials are studied.
  • Dispenser cathodes are a significant focus of our research efforts, especially scandate cathodes.  Kelvin probe measurements, electron microscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are employed to investigate material properties and link these to the cathode’s emission characteristics.
  • High entropy alloys are fabricated and studied both in bulk and thin film forms, to investigate structure-property links in mechanical behavior.

Recent Events:

  • 09/2018: New project on high entropy alloy development, in collaboration with LBNL scientists
  • 08/2018: Welcome to three new PhD students in our group: Kerry Baker, Taohid Bin Nur Tuhser, Huanhuan Bai
  • 08/2018: Azin Akbari successfully defends her dissertation on high throughput HEA screening methods
  • 08/2018: Dr. Julius Schoop (alumnus of our group) becomes assistant professor in UK Mechanical Engineering Department