Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMCs) are a practical solution for applications in extreme enviroments due to their superior temperature, corrosion and wear resistance compared to metals. Their interphases can be optimised to improve its bonding and friction strength. This principle promotes crack deflection, bridging and pull out, as an alternative to breaking the fibers therefore creating a tough pseudo-ductile material. 

In this project I use and develop in situ SEM and TEM characterisation techniques, in the first stage, to understand how nanoscale fracture propagates at the interface. These micromechanical testing setups include a range of fracture testing to understand how cracks propagate within the material. This will progress the understanding that we currently have of how interphases are affected by irradiation damage and thermomechanical exposure. The development of these techniques will then be used to support the development of fusion grade interphases in extreme environments such as in new fusion reactors.