Electrostatic Levitation Lab

Iowa State University Department of Physics and Astronomy



A common difficulty researchers face in material science is the contamination of samples from the walls of the containment chamber and the impurities of the testing environment. To counter this problem, container less processing techniques have been developed for the study of materials across a broad spectrum of temperatures. The goal of this group is to focus on the applications and development of one such technique: Electrostatic Levitation (ESL).

In addition to enabling more accurate measurements of the physical properties, the reduction of heterogeneous nucleation sources opens up a new region of phase space: the undercooled regime; an area that is both interesting and relatively unexplored. So far we have observed materials in the liquid state, several hundred degrees celsius below their melting point, and hope in the near future to measure their thermo-physical properties in this state.

Current Research

  • Undercooled melts
  • Interactions of metastable phases
  • Magnetic Characterization
  • Electrical measurements
  • Density

Future Interests

  • Bulk metallic glasses
  • Viscosity
  • Crstallization velocity
  • Calorimetry