The issue of metal-ceramic interfaces is being explored through three interconnected topics. In the first, wetting of ceramics by metals (both liquid and solid) are explored. This is conducted using the sessile drop technique for liquids on solids, and Winterbottom analysis to determine the energy of solid-solid interfaces. The second topic related to metal-ceramic interfaces deals with processing of ceramic matrix composites and ceramic-metal and ceramic-ceramic joins , where data from wetting experiments is used as the basis for process design.
Finally, in-depth electron microscopy of the interfaces formed from the wetting and joining processes is conducted. Major issues include the formation of equilibrium films at metal-ceramic interfaces. Emphasis is placed on analysis of the atomistic structure and chemistry of the same interfaces for which the interface energy is determined. A description of the major methodologies and systems under study is given below.