Padture’s research interests are in the broad areas of synthesis/processing, characterization, and properties/performance of advanced ceramics and nanomaterials used in applications ranging from jet engines to solar cells to nanodevices. Specifically, he has active research in:
- Tailoring of advanced structural ceramics, composites, and coatings: - Thermal barrier coatings and environmental barrier coatings - Nanocomposites of ceramics and carbon nanotubes or graphene - Ultra-high temperature ceramic composites
- Synthesis, characterization, device fabrication, and properties of functional nanomaterials, including hybrid perovskites and graphene: - Novel solid-state photovoltaics - Graphene-based devices
Currently funded research projects in the Padture's laboratory includes:
- N.P. Padture (PI), X.C. Zeng (co-PI), and five other faculty participants; "Low-Cost, High-Efficiency Solar Cells for the Coming Clean Energy Revolution;" NSF; $4,000,000; 48 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI), Y. Zhou (co-PI); “Grain-Boundary Engineering in Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskites;" ONR; $450,000; 36 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI); “Chemo-Thermo-Mechanical Degradation of Multifunctional Thermal/ Environmental Barrier Coating Ceramics and its Mitigation;" ONR; $390,000; 36 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI); “Research and Education in Ceramic Nanocomposites;" II-VI Foundation; $475,000; 60 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI); "Durable, Multifunctional, Thermal Barrier Coatings for Marine Gas Turbines;" ONR-STTR Phases II (ReliaCoat LLC subcontract); $300,000; 24 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI); "Innovative Multi-Layer Coating for High-Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites;" DoE STTR Phase I (ReliaCoat LLC subcontract); $68,000; 9 months.
- N.P. Padture (PI), Y. Zhou (co-PI); "Acquisition of In Situ and Operando Capabilities in Transmission Electron Microscopy for Materials Research and Education;" DURIP; $229,000; 12 months.
- B.W. Sheldon (PI) and N.P. Padture (co-PI); “Toughening Mechanisms in Ceramic Nanocomposites with 1-D and 2-D Reinforcements;" DoE-BES; $682,000; 36 months.