Assistant Professor, Materials
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5050
Currently Professor Balakrishnaher's group is investigating how the mechanical straining of intercalation electrodes can circumvent their structural degradation upon repeated cycling. While suppressing chemo-mechanical degradation has been a longstanding problem, her group's work initiates a new line of research by using mechanical stress states and crystallographic microstructures to regulate the energy landscape in intercalation materials and to thus improve their lifespans. In other lines of research, her group is trying to understand the origins of hysteresis in magnetic alloys and are developing mathematical models to understand how the interplay between fundamental magnetic constants, energy barriers, and microstructural instabilities governs magnetic hysteresis. Broadly, her group uses advanced quantitative methods to answer new questions about phase transformation mechanisms and macroscopic material response.