The mechanical behavior of ultra-fine grained and nanocrystalline body center-cubic tantalum processed by high pressure torsion. Tantalum disks processed by high pressure torsion will contain a gradient in the grain size, with smaller grains at the disk edge. Using focused ion beam milling, compression and tension specimens with 1- 10 μm gauge sections are made at site specific locations on the disk. These specimens are tested using nanoindentation or a custom built In-situSEM tensile stage. The resulting mechanical behavior is then related back to the microstructure, characterized by XRD and TEM. (Ligda, J.P. et. al. Scripta Materialia 67 (2012) 253-256 & Schuster, B.E. et. al. JOM 63(2011) 27-31).
Since this is an interdisciplinary program you have the option to explore many different aspects of nanoscale science, allowing you to find a research field that you enjoy but had previously never thought of.