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The most widely accepted deﬁnition of a ceramic is “A ceramic is a non-metallic, inorganic solid.” Thus all inorganic semiconductors are ceramics. By deﬁnition, a material ceases to be a ceramic when it is melted. Ceramic materials have unique properties and applications owing to their bond strengths, crystal structures, and band structures. They find use as structural materials in thermochemically demanding environments, but they also have unique electrical, optical, and magnetic functionalities. We are involved in world-class research on advanced ceramics, from processing to micro/nanostructure to characterization (e.g., mechanical, electrical, optical, and magnetic), and devices.
Ceramics are usually associated with “mixed” bonding—a combination of covalent, ionic, and some-times metallic. They consist of arrays of interconnected atoms; there are no discrete molecules. This characteristic distinguishes ceramics from molecular solids such as iodine crystals.