The state key laboratory of new ceramics and fine processing has been devoted to the development of the science and technology of advanced ceramics and exploration for the frontier in the area of materials science. The lab was approved by the National Planning Commission and financially sponsored by the loan from The World Bank in 1991. The lab has been formally opened to the public since 1995. Prof. Pan Wei is the director of the lab. Prof. Li Longtu, member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, is the chairman of the Academic Committee.
Over the past years, the lab has carried out research works on fundamentals and engineering applications of new ceramics and fine processing. The lab made a lot of pioneering and distinctive achievements in many aspects of ceramic science, including toughening mechanism, composite technique, ferroelectric fatigue, phase transition, defect chemistry, sintering kinetics, nano-ceramics, materials synthesis and colloid forming techniques. In the aspect of application research, the lab has been successful in developing highly influential new materials and technologies, including transparent alumina ceramics for high-pressure sodium lam, silicon nitrate ceramics for cutting tools, piezoelectric and ferroelectric ceramics with low-temperature and high-performance, low-temperature fired ferrites for multilayer chip inductors, nano-materials for bone repairing,. Through the development of over a decade, the lab is evolving into a key facility in scientific research and personnel training in new ceramics and fine processing, especially in functional ceramics, structural ceramics and ceramic-matrix composites. The main research areas in the lab include electronic ceramics, functional ceramic composites, high-temperature structural ceramics, advanced processing of ceramics, new energy and environmental materials, and bio-ceramics.
Over 200 research projects supported by the National Basic Research (973) Program, the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and the National High-tech (863) Program are finished and the research funds are over 150 million RMB in total. The lab received 29 awards from the different ministries of China, including 2 second-class awards of national natural science and 5 second class national invention awards. Over 1500 research papers were published in refereed journals. The lab holds more than 150 patents.
There are 46 research staffs in the lab, including 27 professors, 15 associate professors and 4 engineers. Among them are 3 members of Chinese Academy of Science or Chinese Academy of Engineering and 35 young scientists with Ph. D. degree. There are 9 professors awarded the national young outstanding scientist fund, 3 professors honored “Chang-Jiang Professor” by the Ministry of Education of China, 5 winners of “New century talents project” from the Ministry of Education of China, and 3 winners of “Beijing new stars of science” project. The lab has also been awarded the “Innovative Research Group” by National Science Fund Committee of China.
Academic exchanges and collaborations have been tremendously promoted in the lab. Now the lab keeps routine exchange and cooperation in joint projects with universities, research institutes and companies in countries and regions such as USA, England, Swiss, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, Holland, Portugal, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The lab is also in close touch with many domestic universities, institutions and companies. Every year the lab supports about 10 open projects for accepting visiting researchers both from China and overseas. More than 10 researchers of the lab are invited to give talks in key academic conferences worldwide and head for international institutions and universities for short-term research projects, visits and teaching jobs. These collaborations have promoted academic exchanges between labs and countries significantly and have made prominent contributions towards the construction of world-class national key laboratory. The supporting institution, Tsinghua University, provides all-around backup for the lab.