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Opportunity at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Nanocluster Materials for Propulsion and Energy


Aerospace Systems Directorate, RQ/Turbine Engine Division

RO# Location
13.30.08.B8404 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337103


Name E-mail Phone
Lewis, William Kell 937.255.4849


Clusters (sometimes called nanoclusters) are materials with sizes ranging from complexes involving just a few atoms or molecules up to small nanometer-scale structures. Due to their small size, they often exhibit surprising behaviors arising from strong quantum effects. The unique chemistry found in nanoclusters makes them attractive as high energy materials, next-generation catalysts, and advanced sensors. In addition, the interactions which govern them are often keys to understanding important phenomena observed on larger scales. This research program focuses on formation and characterization of nanoclusters that support new propulsion or energy capabilities, and development of advanced diagnostic methods to record their structure, energetics, and dynamics.



Thomas BJ, et al: “Infrared Spectroscopy of Mg-CO2 and Al-CO2 Complexes in Helium Nanodroplets.” Journal of Chemical Physics 142: 174310, 2015

Lewis WK, et al: “Helium Droplet Calorimetry of Strongly Bound Species: Carbon Clusters from C2 to C12.” Review of Scientific Instruments 8: 094102, 2014

Lewis WK, et al: “Comparison of post-detonation combustion in explosives incorporating aluminum nanoparticles: influence of the passivation layer.” Journal of Applied Physics 113: 044907, 2013


Cluster; Complex; Nanoparticle; Reactivity; Catalysis; Catalyst; Spectroscopy; Quantum; Nanocluster;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants
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