Facilitators:  Andrea Hodge (USC), Saryu Fensin (LANL)

The possibility of improvement in majority of our current technological capabilities is limited by availability of materials that can withstand extreme conditions over prolonged time.  As an example, in engineering and aerospace applications materials are subjected to extreme conditions of high temperatures, pressures, and strain-rates which can induce structural solid-solid, and solid-liquid phase transformations eventually leading to unexpected failure.   Hence, there is a demand for intelligent design of materials with tailored properties across many industries and applications.  For example, high strength steels for the automotive industry, damage resistant lightweight metals for military applications, and corrosion/temperature tolerant materials for the energy industry. In general, there are a couple of methodologies to alter material properties, the most common ones being processing – increasing dislocation content through cold working and decreasing the grain size.  In fact, over the past decades numerous works has shown that reducing the “size” of the material in form of grain size in the case of structural materials and creation nanofeatures in functional materials can drastically improve material performance.

In general, it has been shown that nanomaterials offer exceptional properties for photonic, electronic, magnetic, structural, mechanical, chemical, nuclear, and biological functionality. However, real access to enhanced functionality remains limited without connecting the nanoscale across the mesoscale to macroscale assemblies and the ability to define and control nanomaterials organization, interactions, and interfaces. This integration is essential for accessing and controlling functionality to harness the enhanced properties provided by nanostructures while also generating new behaviors and function. Integration thus provides a route to discovering, generating, and using intrinsic and emergent nanomaterials, which define the two focus areas of this theme.

  • Design of nanomaterials with functionality as the key criterion. Can we use computational physics tools from atomistic to meso-scale for efficient design of nanomaterials? As an example, in for design of high strength structural materials use of grain boundary engineering through reduced grain size and higher fraction of special boundaries.  Another example includes, materials interactions as a route to control electromagnetic energy
  • Integration for strategic functionality provides a route to access and control intrinsic nanomaterials functionality for targeted applications and program needs. This focus requires an understanding and capability for bringing ensembles of nanomaterials together in a functional form that enables control and modulation of individual and collective responses. Examples include electronic devices…