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Laszlo Takacs

Laszlo Takacs
Contact Information


Associate Professor
Director, UMBC NanoImaging Center (NIC)
Chair, Graduate Admissions Committee


Ph.D. Solid State Physics – Eötvös Loránd University, 1978
M.S. Physics – Eötvös Loránd University, 1974

Previous Experience

Dr. Takacs was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics at Clark University (Worcester, MA), where he studied magnetic materials and high-temperature superconductors. He was a post-doc at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) earlier where he used Mössbauer spectroscopy to investigate magnetic compounds at cryogenic temperatures.

Professional Interests

Novel materials are essential to virtually all aspects of technological development. The drive to make stronger, lighter, and more durable materials with favorable physical properties often leads to the preparation of metastable materials, such as nanocomposites and amorphous alloys.

Our research concerns the application of high-energy ball milling, also called mechanical alloying or mechanochemical synthesis, to producing nanocrystalline materials, amorphous alloys, and metastable crystalline alloys. Ball milling is also a potential tool in green chemistry, as it can cause chemical reactions without solvents or high temperature. Our group conducts research in two directions: (i) We try to understand the mechanism of mechanical alloying, combining theoretical considerations with systematic empirical investigations. In particular, ball milling of powder mixtures that are capable of highly energetic reactions, such as thermites, leads to the initiation of a self-sustaining reaction after some period of milling. The variation of this incubation time with composition and milling conditions combined with detailed investigation of the structural changes during activation provide valuable information on the reaction mechanism. (ii) We also prepare and test potentially useful materials, such as nanocrystalline metals, energetic materials, magnetic nanocomposites, and novel coatings. The primary methods of characterization are scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.

We are also interested in the history of mechanochemistry, particularly around the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when it became a separate branch of chemistry. Our sources include historical papers and original documents. Occasionally we also reconstruct classical experiments.

Selected Publications

“Self-Sustaining Reactions as a Tool to Study Mechanochemical Activation,” L. Takacs, Faraday Disc. 170 (2014) 251.

“Mechanochemistry of Ti-C Powder Mixtures,” F. Delogu and L. Takacs, Acta Mater. 80 (2014) 435.

“The Historical Development of Mechanochemistry,” L. Takacs, Chem. Soc. Rev. 42 (2013) 7649.

“The Effect of Aluminum Substitution on the Mechanically Induced Self-Sustaining Reaction of Molybdenum-Silicon Powders,” L. Takacs, Int. J. of SHS 22 (2013) 41.

“Alloying and Amorphization by Surface Mechanical Treatment,” Á. Révész and L. Takacs, Mater. Sci. Forum, 659 (2010) 239.

“Compressive properties of Cu with Different Grain Sizes: Sub-Micron to Nanometer Realm,” A. S. Khan, B. Farrokh, L. Takacs, J. Mater. Sci. 43 (2008) 3305.

“Self-Sustaining Reactions Induced by Ball Milling,” L. Takacs, Prog. Mater. Sci. 47 (2002) 355.

“Quicksilver from Cinnabar: The First Documented Mechanochemical Reaction?” L. Takacs, JOM (J. of Metals) 52 (2000) 12.

“Iron-Alumina Nanocomposites Prepared by Ball Milling,” M. Pardavi-Horvath, L. Takacs, IEEE Trans. Magn. 28 (1992) 3186.