MSE Professor Pierre Lucas is the co-author of a new book on rare earth that has just been published. The book, titled "Rare Earths: Science, Technology, Production and Use" presents a comprehensive review of the structure and properties of rare earth elements (REE) and illuminates ways to reduce the use of water and energy during production of materials and to efficiently recycle rare earth materials, both of end-use products and in the production of new products.
In addition to his position as Professor in the department of Materials Science and Engineering, Dr. Lucas is the co-Director of the CNRS International Associated Laboratory for Materials and Optics (LIA-MATEO). Dr. Lucas has authored over 60-peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has led several funded research projects on rare-earth doped luminescent glasses. His research focuses on the fundamentals and applications of infrared glasses, including their structure, photosensitivity, and the development of novel optical sensors. The fundamental aspect of his research involves the structure and topology of chalcogenide network glasses in relation to their average coordination as well as the mechanism of photoinduced structural change under sub-bandgap irradiation such as photofluidity, photoexpansion and photodarkening. Applied aspects of his work have focused on the design and fabrication of infrared optical bio-sensors based on chalcogenide fibers and other optical elements such as conducting ATR crystals. These sensors have been applied to the capture and detection of bacteria and viruses as well as monitoring of live cell cultures.