Dave Hurley, Distinguished Staff Scientist
Dr. Hurley’s research interests encompass theoretical and experimental studies of pulsed laser characterization of materials. Typically this research examines acoustic and thermal wave generation and propagation in diverse materials ranging from semiconductors to metallic alloys. Since lasers are employed for both acoustic generation and detection, this approach naturally lends itself to in situ monitoring of material property evolution. The temporal laser pulse length and the corresponding acoustic wavelength extend from10 nanoseconds and 100 micrometers, respectively, through 1 picosecond and 10 nanometers.
Dr. Hurley’s research interests also include studies of ultrafast light-matter interactions, phonon focusing of gigahertz surface acoustic phonons in elastically anisotropic materials, electron-phonon coupling in polar semiconductors, generation and detection of picosecond surface acoustic phonons using nanolithographic absorption masks, thermal properties of thin actinide films, carrier transport properties of thermoelectric and photovoltaic materials and simultaneous microscopy of thermal and elastic properties of thin films.
Dr. Hurley has adapted this approach to study a variety of problems germane to the energy industry. These applications include the study of mechanical and thermal properties of corrosive films, the development of fatigue damage in high temperature environments, and a fundamental study of acoustic wave interaction with individual microstructural features such as grain boundaries and dislocation networks.