The world of the small is beautiful and fascinatingly complex. If we use a microscope to look at objects around us, we find exquisite demonstrations of structure, symmetry, hierarchical assembly, and dynamic factories that are beyond imagination. We also know that all materials around us, both natural and manmade, are SQUISHY. In other words, everything is deformable. We strive to explore this secret world in an attempt to understand, describe, and develop…

  • Mechanisms for accommodating plastic deformation and controlling strength in ultra small volumes.  Size effects in the mechanical behavior at the nanoscale are a major research thrust.  Our work zeros in on material geometries with reduced dimensions, including nanowires, thin films, and nanocrystalline materials (materials consisting of grains with nm sizes).  [details…]
  • Strategies for engineering micro- and nanostructured materials with exceptional damage tolerance for enhanced reliability.  We study degradation mechanisms and damage evolution of materials under various mechanical stimuli.  [details…]
  • Experimental techniques for in situ nano- and micromechanical testing.  We utilize high-resolution electron, focused ion beam, and conventional optical microscopy to concurrently image and measure during mechanical testing.  The goal is to develop fully integrated in situ nanoscale laboratories where synthesis, testing, environmental control, and direct imaging can occur simultaneously.  [details…]
  • Combinatorial methods for accelerated materials development.  A large emphasis is placed on small scale manipulation and automation of testing procedures for high-throughput testing.  [details…]
  • Materials under extreme environments.  We study the mechanical response of materials subjected to intense situations, including high temperatures, cyclic loading, and high radiation fluxes.  [details…]
  • Coupled materials measurements.  We attempt to understand the complex coupling between materials loading experienced in real micro- and nanoscale devices, including the interplay between electrical/photonic/magnetic and mechanical stimuli.  [details…]


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