Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Beth S. Guiton


Understanding materials at their atomic level is important given that the macroscopic properties of a material are intricately linked to its microscopic structure. This plays a pivotal role in advancing structural materials since their performance is significantly influenced by factors such as composition and microstructure, which consist of different interfaces, crystalline phases, and defects.

In the automotive and aerospace industries, reducing the weight of materials is critical to enhance fuel efficiency without compromising safety and performance. Lightweight aluminum alloys are extensively studied to replace heavier materials in these sectors. This dissertation offers a comprehensive characterization of the evolution of various precipitates within particular alloys under laser treatment conditions.

The thesis also delves into understanding the diffusion and dissolution mechanisms of metal nanoparticles on or into metal oxides. Metals like gold, in their bulk form, are traditionally considered chemically inert and inefficient as catalysts. At the nanoscale, however, as the particle size decreases, their catalytic activity towards various reactions significantly increases. Our exploration of these systems under in-situ TEM heating has provided valuable insights into the structure-function relationships of these interfaces. This knowledge can be employed in optimizing the production of nanomaterials with enhanced interface properties.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This study was supported by National Science Foundation: DMR 1455154 and OIA 1355438

This study was supported by Department of Energy, DOE DE-SC0022315

This study was supported by NSF CREST program under award HRD 1736136

Work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory was funded by the Lightweight Materials Core Program under the Vehicle Technologies Office, US Department of Energy.

Available for download on Saturday, March 01, 2025