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The State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure was founded in April 1988 upon the approval of both the State Planning Commission and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, aiming at promoting the high-performance ceramic research activity in China. The laboratory is subject to the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and has been open to all over the word since 1989. In 1991, the laboratory formerly became one of the State Key Laboratories and has been given the name since then. The national authentication of the laboratory was completed in November 1995. The State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure passed the National Comprehensive Evaluations at 1992, 1997, 2003, 2008, 2013 respectively, and got “A” twice. Professor Dongsheng Yan, an academician of both Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), serves as the honorary director of the laboratory. Currently, Professor Lidong Chen is the director of the laboratory. Professor Dongliang Jiang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), heads the laboratory’s academic committee.

By combining with the basic sciences such as chemistry, physics, electronics and biology, and the most recent research progresses, the laboratory has been engaged extensively in the fundamental and applied researches on the compositional and structural design, processing science and engineering applications of advanced inorganic nonmetallic materials. The research activities are focused on four areas: structural design and properties and microstructures of advanced ceramics, inorganic nanomaterials, biomaterials, and the novel materials and its computational sciences.

The detailed research fields and the achievement of the laboratory mainly include the following several aspects: (1) Design, processing science and the mechanical properties study of high performance ceramics: In early stages, the extensive scientific researches and successful applications of the fiber reinforced ceramic matrix composites and the advanced ceramic components for engines bestowed the laboratory a solid base in the field. Later, the composition and phase design of high performance multi-phase composites, toughing mechanisms of ceramics and ceramic composites, as well as the new sintering theory of advanced ceramics are the main fundamental research directions since the establishment, great progresses have been made in the above researches. Based on these basic researches, a series of advanced ceramics and ceramic matrix composites with highly improved properties has been developed. In recent years, following research activities are involved in this area: large size SiC components and their space applications, transparent oxide and nitride ceramics for optical applications, ultrahigh temperature ceramics and ceramic matrix composites for applications under extreme environments. (2) Phase relationships of nitride ceramics: The subsolid and liquid region phase relationships were established in the more than twenty systems of nitrogen-containing multi-phase ceramics. The results especially for the phase relationships of nitrogen-rich regions in the system Y-Si-Al-O-N, provided an important base for compositional and phase design of nitrogen ceramics. Accordingly the laboratory was recognized internationally in this field as one of three most distinguished research centers in the world for the phase relationship study of nitrogen ceramics. (3) Large size and ion-doped lead tungstate scintillator and its growth technology: A multi-ions’ doping technique has been invented for the crystal growth of lead tungstate scintillator with a modified multi-crucible Bridgeman method, and the resultant large size crystals shown greatly improved scintillation performances. So far SIC is the only institution which has the capability for the mass production of large size lead tungstate crystals by modified Bridgeman method in the world. A great number of lead tungstate crystals have been supplied to several international key scientific projects and many research institutes regarded as the high quality Chinese crystals. (4) Scanning electron acoustic microscope and the related devices and materials: Scanning electron acoustic microscope (SEAM) of high resolution, non-destructive feature and subsurface imaging capability has been successfully developed, and applied in the domestic and overseas’ universities, institutes and companies. Based on SEAM, a number of novel findings were obtained on a variety of materials, such as metals, semiconductors, ceramics and coatings, etc. (5) Preparation and performance research of nano-ceramics & ceramic nano-composites: The synthesis, dispersion and surface modification of inorganic nanoparticles have been systematically investigated. The laboratory was the pioneer in applying spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique to the superfast sintering of ceramics, and prominent achievements in mechanical properties of nanocomposite ceramics have been achieved. A series of intra-granular ceramic nanocomposites with greatly enhanced mechanical performance and multi-functionalities have been successfully developed. (6) Novel mesoporous and low-dimensional nano-composite materials: Using the mesoporous channels as “mirco-reators”, novel in-situ assembly/synthesis approaches have been developed to realize the loading of guests in the meosporous host with controlled existing forms of continuous nanowires (full loading), highly dispersed nanoparticles (partial loading) and untra-thin coating on the pore inner surface (thin coating), and a series of host-guest mesoporous nanocomposites and hollow microporous spheres have been synthesized. Such research achievements have potential and important application values in heterogeneous catalysis, catalytic purification of automobile exhausts and controlled/targeted drug delivery. (7) Computational materials science and microscopic design for energy-conversion materials: Recently, we have succeeded in in predicting novel single-filling and multiple-filling phases of caged thermoelectric compounds, evaluating the electrical transport properties from ab initio computation for new material discovery, and establishing the stability criteria of heterointerfaces for microstructure design of ceramic composites.

A series of important achievements have been obtained in the research areas mentioned above. The laboratory has received 24 awards at the state, provincial and ministerial levels. The laboratory has published over 2000 scientific papers in international journals. The laboratory has authored over 130 patents.

Currently, the laboratory has 78 staff members, including 39 professors, 3 academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), 2 academicians of the Third World Academy of Sciences, and 5 academicians of the World Academy of Ceramics, 6 members of “Distinguished Young Scholars of NSFC”, 2 members of “New Century National Talent Project”, 2 members of “Recruitment Program of Global Experts”, 23 members of “Hundred-Talent Project of CAS”.

The international cooperation of the laboratory has been greatly strengthened with currently more than 20 universities and research institutes in the world, including those in the United States, Britain, Japan, Germany and other countries. The laboratory has also maintained a wide range of cooperation and exchange with about 30 domestic universities and research institutes including Tsinghua University. Up to date, about 60% of over 200 open subjects of the laboratory were led by visiting researchers. There are many academic exchanges and more than 100 visitors per year in the laboratory. As a sponsor, the laboratory has organized many large-scale national and international academic conferences.

The laboratory will focus on the medium-term and long-term development goals, and make its greatest efforts on the developments of new materials, new technology, new material theories and high-tech applications. The laboratory will continue to hold and reinforce its leading position in the field of high-performance ceramic materials in China, and make efforts to become one of the world famous laboratories in material science. 

State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure
Mailing address: 1295, Ding-xi Road, Shanghai 200050, CHINA
Support Unit: Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Zip Code: 200050
Telephone :+86-21-5241-2614
Fax : +86-21-5241-3122
E-mail: dsyan@sunm.shcnc.ac.cn
Website: http://www.sic.cas.cn/kybm/kybm1