Research

Research

Home     People   Publications   Our current research is broadly directed towards revitalizing manufacturing infrastructure, improving health care and detecting biological and chemical threats. Basic scientific questions that our work addresses is how materials deform and fail under combined influence of loading and environmental stimuli such as thermal, chemical and electrical fields. Our group has identified the thermal fields and chemical stimuli needed to fracture hard-to-machine brittle materials and elucidated the mechanisms governing the influence of surface stress state on rate of chemical reactions associated with corrosion damage and nanoscale etching. We have also developed interferometry based high-resolution techniques to measure the stress field developed due to physisorption/chemisorption of molecules on surfaces. A recent focus of our work has been to conduct atomistic simulations that provide information on conformational changes in ultrathin polymeric films under applied forces and electrical fields.Our current research projects include:

Mechanical load assisted dissolution and damage of implant surfaces
Single asperity and multiple asperity contact experiments on metallic implant surfaces were utilized to elucidate the relationship between stress fields, applied contact loads and surface chemical reactions during surface damage.

Surface stress changes due to absorption of chemical and biological species on surfaces
We have designed and demonstrated a microcantilevers based differential surface stress sensor for detection of chemical and biological species. Unique advantages of the sensor are that it is:

  • highly sensitive due to high-resolution interferometery-based measurement
  • amenable to miniaturization in a single chip
  • independent of environmental disturbances

Mechanics guided design of hybrid manufacturing process
Fundamental investigations of brittle material fracture under combined influence of laser heating and water-jet quenching has resulted in development of a hybrid manufacturing process for hard-to-machine materials. In the hybrid Laser/Water-Jet (LWJ) manufacturing process elements of laser and water-jet machining are synergistically combined such that material removal is accomplished by thermal shock assisted fracturing of material into fine fragments rather than energy-intensive erosive wear or melting and subsequent evaporation.

Biomolecular interactions

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