Kriven Group

Our Research


High-Temperature Crystallography

Oxides are often used for their refractory properties, so our goal is to understand the crystallographic properties of materials at the temperatures they will be used. The Kriven research group is dedicated to developing novel equipment that pushes the current limits of in situ diffraction. Our group is the original developer of the quadrupole lamp furnace that is now used by major companies and national labs to reach temperatures up to 2000 °C in air. The pride of our crystallography group is our curved image plate detector which can collect diffracted x-rays over 40 degrees in 2-theta with 0.008 deg. resolution in under 30 seconds. These powder diffraction studies are often used to find the properties of a material during transformation, to investigate exotic thermal expansion properties or to measure the rate of crystallization. We often use major national x-ray sources and more advanced x-ray techniques such as pair distribution function studies using total scattering data. This allows the investigation of the atomic structure of non-crystalline materials.


Phase Transformation Studies

Our group has a long history of studying phase transformations, and has been particularly focused on the transformation properties of critical ceramics such as zirconia, niobates and mullite. In recent years we have continued this legacy by investigating the transformation properties of ceramics that are now at the forefront of advanced materials, such as enstatite, tantala and hafnia. We often investigate the properties of possible transformation tougheners and weakeners used to modify the strength of composites through transformation. The studies rely heavily on thermodynamics, crystallography and often martensite phenomenological theory. Our significant suite of in-house high temperature equipment facilitates these studies.




Geopolymers, which are polycondensated aluminosilicates activated by alkali ions, behave similarly to cements and possess mechanical and processing characteristics superior to Portland cement as well as a carbon footprint that is approximately half. The Kriven group has investigated structure-property relationships of geopolymers for several years. Current investigations focus on porosity, mechanical properties including flexure and compressive strength, thermal resistance, water resistance and geopolymer-organic interfaces.




Stress-Wave Mitigation

The development and understanding of nonlinear stress wave tailoring materials can improve impact protection and crashworthiness of components, vehicles and structures subject to impact loading such as armor systems, structural material for earthquakes and casing for sensitive equipments.  Our approach is developing, and understanding new structured protective systems, primary based on material response such as spherical granular media, stress-induced phase transformation, 3D laminated ceramic composite systems and novel aluminosilicates




Kriven Research Tree

Prof. Trudy Kriven • Phone: 217-333-5258 • Fax: 217-333-2736 • Email:
Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign