The Hobbs Group's research centers on characterization, using electron microscopy and diffraction methods, of atomic and extended defect structures and microstructures of inorganic non-metals introduced by radiation, implantation, or chemically-driven compositional change.
A major program of the group addresses the effects of strong radiation fields, such as those found in nuclear reactors, radioactive waste storage, or ion implantation, on the microstructural integrity of ceramics and semiconductors. An important emphasis of this effort is on radiation-induced crystal-to-glass transformations and on the description and modelling of glass structure using topological and combinatorial approaches. A second major program focuses on the microstructural evolution of oxide and sulfide scales formed as corrosion products during high-temperature corrosion of metals. Materials studied include high-temperature alloys for jet engines and energy production and lightweight intermetallic compounds for aerospace applications. A third program addresses characterization of the interfaces between orthopedic and prosthodontic implant materials and natural bone tissue.