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Мукасьян Александр Сергеевич On the photo: Alexander Mukasyan

University:  University of Notre Dame, USA

Academic degree and title: Professor

Academic positions: Professor of the Faculty of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Notre Dame in the United States, Director of the Research Center "ceramic Constructional nanomaterials" NUST "MISIS".

Area of scientific interests: synthesis of nano-materials, new energy sources, kinetics and mechanisms of fast heterogeneous reactions.

Winner of open international NUST «MISiS»  grant competition to support  scientific research implemented under the supervision of the world's leading scientists
Scientific achievements:

1980 - graduated With Honors from the faculty of Experimental and Theoretical Physics of the MEPhI;
1980-1989 wrked as a research fellow of the Institute of Chemical Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Chernogolovka;
1986 - defended a doctoral theses;
1989-1996 worked in the Institute of Structural Macrokinetics and Materials Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
1994 - defended habilitation theses and became the Head of the laboratory;
1996 - employeed by University of Notre Dame (USA, Indiana);
2000 - Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Notre Dame (USA, Indiana).

Author of 3 books and more than 200 reviews, patents, and original scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals. Area of scientific interests includes synthesis of nano-materials, new energy sources, kinetics and mechanisms of fast heterogeneous reactions.

Area of interests of Professor Mukasyan is solid flame. He is one of the most famous world experts on that issue. This technology was developed in the USSR by his teacher, academician Alexander Merjanov. It allows to connect refractory elements, such as carbon with tantalum and to obtain compounds with unique properties. So, on the basis of tantalum carbide  the most durable of all synthetic materials was created.

Professor Moukasyan explains the essence of the method. - You take tantalum powders and carbon, mix them, and then point the laser beam to1 cubic millimeter space . Local warming triggers a reaction, which generates a lot of heat. It quickly as fire, distributes throughout the volume of the substance, in a  second turning it into refractory tantalum carbide. Everything happens in  vacuum without any melts and gases. Thus the name - rigid flame. Its advantage compared to the conventional methods of this material is obvious: large energy savings. Because usually special furnace, high temperature, and synthesisuse are used for hours. And process is quick, high-quality and cheap.

Mukasyan decided to apply this already world-recognized  methods to create nanotechnology refractory ceramic materials. At first glance, this seemed unreal. It is well known that high temperature and nano are incompatible. When heated particles begin to grow, and the whole nano effect is just lost. But the scientist managed to find three options for solving the problem.

So one of the research goals of the Professor Mukasyan-lead Centre of ceramic konstrakcionnyh nanomaterialsin MISiS is tightly sintered carbide-silicon ceramics. Today this material is world champion in withstanding high temperatures and oxidizing environments. In particular, this material was  the basis for famous shuttle cover. Application area is very wide: space, aircraft engineering, defense industry, oil and gas, microelectronics etc. So demand for it is growing rapidly. The market is divided between large players. But Russians have a chance to enter, speaking figuratively, through nano. The essence is the same as with tantalum carbide. To receive such ceramics not in the usual way, spending a lot of time and energy, and by applying a "solid flame".
- It allows to reduce the temperature of sintering of nano-powder from 2400  to 1700 C, and reduce the time from 1 day to one hour, explains Mukasyan. - Under such conditions nano grains do not grow, which allows us to get tightly sintered nano ceramics
  If we succeed, I believe my job at  MISIS is done.
According to the Professor, research is proceeding successfully. The center has already sent five articles to peer review journals  and submitted two patents for the invention.

Hobbies: Main hobby in their spare time is football. He still comes out on the green lawn 2-3 times a week.

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