Project Overview

Active NIRT: Hierarchical Manufacturing and Modeling for Phase Transforming Active Nanostructures

# 0709283
Dimitris Lagoudas (Principal Investigator)
Kenneth Gall (Co-Principal Investigator)
Ibrahim Karaman (Co-Principal Investigator)
Jun Kameoka (Co-Principal Investigator)
Xinghang Zhang (Co-Principal Investigator)

This proposed research was submitted in response to the Active Nanostructures and Nanosystems initiative, NSF 06-595, category NIRT. Active nanoscale structures and nanosystems capable of actuation and sensing are needed for a wide range of applications in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics, space exploration, homeland security and defense. An integrated team of co-PIs from Texas A&M University and Georgia Tech proposes, as a combined research effort, a comprehensive interdisciplinary program in hierarchical manufacturing and modeling for phase transforming magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMA).

Technical: The main goal of the proposal is to establish a hierarchical framework that will combine the fabrication of MSMA nanolayers with the extrusion of nanowires. These monolithic and hybrid nanowires will then be used in the fabrication of fibers, by coaxial electrospinning, to be used as devices that can be activated by temperature, stress, and remotely by magnetic field. The first level of nanomanufacturing will focus on thin films, composed of nano to micron size layers of conventional shape memory alloys (SMA), magnetic materials and MSMA using magnetron sputtering. Thin films will then serve as precursor for nanowire fabrication by using a cost effective hydraulic pressure extrusion technique. The higher level nanomanufacturing will involve the use of a novel coaxial electrospinning whereby nanowires will be aligned in selected matrices such as silica for the purpose of making biosensors, remotely controlled nano/micro actuators, and active mesoporous ductile membranes. To support the nanomanufacturing effort, selective multiscale modeling will involve atomistic simulations to address phase transformation phenomena at nanoscale, and microstructural mechanism-based continuum level constitutive models to address the functionality of the nanostructures and nanodevice behavior.

Nontechnical: The proposed research will attempt to develop a multilevel fabrication methodology for nanowires with combined shape memory and magnetic properties. This hierarchical fabrication methodology will be assisted by a parallel multiscale modeling effort, and also by multiscale state-of-the-art characterization techniques. These unique multifunctional nanowires will be utilized in the manufacturing of biosensors using a novel coaxial electrospinning method. The proposed research is scientifically significant because it will reveal the effect of nanoscale phenomena occurring at crystallographic length scales on larger scale functionality through hierarchical nanomanufacturing. The proposed research will also result in well-structured hierarchical fabrication methodologies and architectures for new multifunctional materials and devices to be used as sensors and actuators in engineering applications, facilitating the design of micro-actuators, biosensors, valves and active mesoporous structures. The knowledge generated from these studies could revolutionize the design of active nano and micro-scale systems and components capable of undergoing very fast reversible deformations, and exhibiting high actuation, sensing and promising power generation characteristics.

The proposed project activities will include the development of teaching modules in multifunctional materials for incorporation into undergraduate courses; enrichment of graduate and undergraduate research experiences through summer collaborative exchange programs between Texas A&M and Georgia Tech; development of a graduate course in active thin films, nanowires and active nanostructures; involvement of underrepresented groups through participating regional minority serving universities, and injection of laboratory demonstration models in educational material for secondary educational programs, which will be coordinated with the newly established NSF Nanoscale Undergraduate Education (NUE) program at Texas A&M.

Source: NSF