The Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials Group at Stevens is interested in studying the behavior of advanced material systems at the nanoscale. Particular material systems of interest include polymers and polymer nanocomposites, as well as thin film and piezoelectric materials of interest in MEMS applications.
Current research efforts of the group include micro/nanomechanics, processing-structure-properties of polymer nanocomposites, and piezoelectric approaches for energy harvesting applications.
Processing-induced crystallization in polymer nanocomposites
We are seeking to leverage nanoscale crystalline morphology and interfaces in semicrystalline polymer nanocomposite materials, with a particular emphasis on coupling crystallinity development to the processing and manufacturing of these materials. In particular, we are interested in exploiting situations where the presence of nanoparticles can be coupled with select processing conditions to generate preferred crystalline morphologies for a given application.
Nonbulk viscoelastic interphases in polymer nanocomposites
We are interested in extending existing micromechanical approaches for specific application in polymer nanocomposites; for example, to study how the properties of a reduced mobility, non-bulk polymer interphase that forms in polymer nanocomposites influences the viscoelastic properties of polymer nanocomposites.
Piezoelectric approaches to energy scavenging
For vibration energy harvesting, we are interesting in developing techniques to efficiently convert low levels of ambient vibration present in a given environment into small (but useful) levels of electrical energy for applications such as powering wireless sensors and ultra low power devices.
Research facilities in the Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials Lab include a TA Instruments RSA III Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer. Recent funding from the National Science Foundation for a SEM-compatible nanomanipulator and from the US Army TACOM-ARDEC for the development of a Class 100 Clean Room for a Microdevices Laboratory in the Design and Manufacturing Institute at Stevens provides additional experimental capabilities accessible to the group.
The group also makes use of the extensive experimental capabilities available at Stevens, including those of the Design and Manufacturing Institute (DMI), the Highly Filled Materials Institute (HfMI), the MicroDevice Laboratory, and the Laboratory for Multiscale Imaging (LMSI) at Stevens.