Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Stressed Nanomaterials Display Unexpected Movement

Kevin Hemker, seated between models representing how atoms are packed within an individual grain in a material, holds a silicon wafer onto which nanocrystalline aluminum thin film specimens have been deposited. Photo: Will Kirk/Homewoodphoto.jhu.edu
Kevin Hemker, seated between models representing how atoms are packed within an individual grain in a material, holds a silicon wafer onto which nanocrystalline aluminum thin film specimens have been deposited. Photo: Will Kirk/Homewoodphoto.jhu.edu

Abstract:
Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered that, under the right conditions, newly developed nanocrystalline materials exhibit surprising activity in the tiny spaces between the geometric clusters of atoms called nanocrystals, from which they are made.

Stressed Nanomaterials Display Unexpected Movement

Baltimore, MD | Posted on March 1st, 2010

This finding, detailed recently in the journal Science, is important because these nanomaterials are becoming more ubiquitous in the fabrication of microdevices and integrated circuits. Movement in the atomic realm can affect the mechanical properties of these futuristic materials—making them more flexible and less brittle—and may alter the material's lifespan.

"As we make smaller and smaller devices, we've been using more nanocrystalline materials that have much smaller crystallites—what materials scientists call grains—and are believed to be much stronger," said Kevin Hemker, professor and chair of Mechanical Engineering in Johns Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering and senior author of the Science article. "But we have to understand more about how these new types of metal and ceramic components behave, compared to traditional materials. How do we predict their reliability? How might these materials deform when they are subjected to stress?"

The experiments conducted by a former undergraduate research assistant and supervised by Hemker focused on what happens in regions called grain boundaries. A grain or crystallite is a tiny cluster of atoms arranged in an orderly three-dimensional pattern. The irregular space or interface between two grains with different geometric orientations is called the grain boundary. Grain boundaries can contribute to a material's strength and help it resist plastic deformation, a permanent change of shape. Nanomaterials are believed to be stronger than traditional metals and ceramics because they possess smaller grains and, as a result, have more grain boundaries.

Most scientists have been taught that these grain boundaries do not move, a characteristic that helps the material resist deformation. But when Hemker and his colleagues performed experiments on nanocrystalline aluminum thin films, applying a type of force called shear stress, they found an unexpected result. "We saw that the grains had grown bigger, which can only occur if the boundaries move," he said, "and the most surprising part of our observation was that it was shear stress that had caused the boundaries to move."

"The original view," Hemker said, "was that these boundaries were like the walls inside of a house. The walls and the rooms they create don't change size; the only activity is by people moving around inside the room. But our experiments showed that in these nanomaterials, when you apply a particular type of force, the rooms do change size because the walls actually move."

The discovery has implications for those who use thin films and other nanomaterials to make integrated circuits and microelectromechanical systems, commonly called MEMS. The boundary movement shown by Hemker and his colleagues means that the nanomaterials used in these products likely possess more plasticity, higher reliability and less brittleness, but also reduced strength.

"As we move toward making things at much smaller sizes, we need to take into account how activity at the atomic level affects the mechanical properties of the material," Hemker said. "This knowledge can help the microdevice makers decide on the proper size for their components and can lead to better predictions about how long their products will last."

The journal article describing this discovery was inspired by a Johns Hopkins master's thesis produced by Tim Rupert, then a combined bachelor's/master's degree student in mechanical engineering. Rupert, who is now a doctoral student at MIT, is lead author of the Science piece. Along with Hemker, the co-authors are Daniel Gianola, a former doctoral student and postdoctoral fellow in Hemker's lab who is now an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Pennsylvania; and Y. Gan of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany.

Funding for the research was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Related links:

Kevin Hemker's Lab Page: www.me.jhu.edu/hemker/MicroNano/index.html

Johns Hopkins Department of Mechanical Engineering: www.me.jhu.edu/


####

About Johns Hopkins University
The mission of The Johns Hopkins University is to educate its students and cultivate their capacity for life-long learning, to foster independent and original research, and to bring the benefits of discovery to the world.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
MEDIA CONTACT:
Phil Sneiderman
443-287-9960

Copyright © Johns Hopkins University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Thin films

Self-cleaning, anti-reflective, microorganism-resistant coatings: Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country are modifying surface properties of materials to obtain specific properties at a lower cost August 9th, 2016

Scientists find a way of acquiring graphene-like films from salts to boost nanoelectronics: Physicists use supercomputers to find a way of making 'imitation graphene' from salt July 30th, 2016

Cambridge Advanced Imaging Centre praises support film consistency and quality from EM Resolutions July 5th, 2016

New nanomaterial offers promise in bendable, wearable electronic devices: Electroplated polymer makes transparent, highly conductive, ultrathin film June 13th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New theory could lead to new generation of energy friendly optoelectronics: Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics August 23rd, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Possible Futures

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Academic/Education

Nanotech Security Featured by Simon Fraser University: Company's Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Developed With the Help of University's 4D LABS Materials Research Institute August 21st, 2016

W.M. Keck Foundation awards Cal State LA a $375,000 research and education grant August 4th, 2016

Thomas Swan and NGI announce unique partnership July 28th, 2016

The NanoWizard® AFM from JPK is applied for interdisciplinary research at the University of South Australia for applications including smart wound healing and how plants can protect themselves from toxins July 26th, 2016

MEMS

STMicroelectronics Earns MEMS Manufacturer of the Year Award August 1st, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

New research unveils graphene 'moth eyes' to power future smart technologies: New ultra-thin, patterned graphene sheets will be essential in designing future technologies such as 'smart wallpaper' and Internet-of-things applications March 1st, 2016

Vesper Collaborates with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Deliver First Piezoelectric MEMS Microphones: Acoustic sensing company works with top foundry to support mass-market consumer products January 21st, 2016

Nanoelectronics

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

Smarter self-assembly opens new pathways for nanotechnology: Brookhaven Lab scientists discover a way to create billionth-of-a-meter structures that snap together in complex patterns with unprecedented efficiency August 9th, 2016

Discoveries

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

Materials/Metamaterials

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Provides Shareholder Update August 22nd, 2016

Announcements

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

Light and matter merge in quantum coupling: Rice University physicists probe photon-electron interactions in vacuum cavity experiments August 24th, 2016

New microchip demonstrates efficiency and scalable design: Increased power and slashed energy consumption for data centers August 24th, 2016

Tunneling nanotubes between neurons enable the spread of Parkinson's disease via lysosomes August 24th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic