Tran completes senior project, plans to continue education

Thang Tran recently completed his senior project, Chemical Expansivity and Oxygen Diffusivity in Oxygen Transport Membranes, which allowed him to delve deeper into his main interest in materials science and engineering, perovskite applications.

Working with Associate Professor Mark De Guire, Tran synthesized and characterized perovskite membranes and modeled their expansion behaviour when subjected to pO2 changes. He used R for calculations and the x-ray diffractometry instruments, scanning electron microscopes and energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopes in SCSAM for characterization and pellet information, becoming an independent user on the latter two.

"I learned that perovskites are being used for much more than just electrical applications,” said Tran. “Perovskites range from dielectric insulators to semiconductors which can be used for solar cells, diodes and lasers. In my research I looked into how perovskites conduct oxygen ions, making them suitable for fuel cells.”

After Tran graduates from Case Western Reserve University with his B.S. in materials science and engineering this January, he plans to start his PhD studies in either materials science and engineering or physics. He is applying to PhD programs across the United States and Europe, including Oxford University, from where his brother recently graduated with a PhD in biomedical engineering.