- Fractography and fracture surface analysis.
- Performance failure caused by crystalline defects: dislocations, impurities, interfacial defects using TEM, SEM, and AES.
- Mechanical characterization: strength, ductility, deformation mechanisms.
- Chemical analysis: contamination, impurities, composition.
- Microstructural characterization.
Instrumentation: Optical microscopes, scanning electron microscopes (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray analyzer (EDAX), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning Auger microscope (AES), universal mechanical testing systems, X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometer (ICP-AES).