MMD Lab’s First Paper on Modulating Polymer Mechanical Properties with Electric Fields Now Published

“Can Polyelectrolyte Mechanical Properties Be Directly Modulated By an Electric Field? A Molecular Dynamics Study” has just been published in Advanced Functional Materials. This study was carried out by first author Prathamesh Raiter who just completed his MS in the lab, and the concept came from former postdoc Yuval Vidavsky. Using molecular dynamics, this work shows that the bulk mechanical properties of polyelectrolytes can be modulated by the application of electric fields. The dominant mechanisms responsible for the stiffening and strengthening in the explored systems are chain orientation, chain extension, entanglement density and electrostatic interactions. These functional materials have potential applications within the soft robotics and energy fields. 

Shreya wins ELI Award!

Congratulations to Shreya Gowda for winning an Engineering Learning Initiatives undergraduate research award for her project “Dynamic Bond Approach to Improving Resin Transfer Molding Composites”!

Prof Silberstein wins Knauss Young Investigator Award

Congratulations to Prof Silberstein for winning the Wolfgang Knauss Young Investigator Award from the Society of Experimental Mechanics (https://sem.org/awardsknauss). This award is given biannually by the SEM in recognition of an individual who has made significant research contributions to the broad field of experimental mechanics, with a focus on time dependent materials.  Prof Silberstein’s award is for “significant contributions in the areas of macromolecular tailoring, mechano chemistry, and the mechanics of polymeric nanofiber networks and developing constitutive models based on novel experimental techniques.” Many thanks to Prof Liechti for shipping the award since SEM was virtual this year.

Congratulations to Steven and Zhongtong!

Congratulations to Steven Yang for passing his A-exam and to Zhongtong Wang for passing his Q-exam last week!

Congratulations to recent MMD graduates!

Congratulations to Allison Rzepka and Prathamesh Raiter for completing their bachelors and masters degrees respectively in Materials Science and Engineering! In her undergraduate thesis, Allison devised a procedure for depositing liquid metal capsules onto performance fabrics such that they could be stretch-activated into electrically conductive materials (side note: thank you Air Force Research Lab collaborators for enabling this project!). In his masters thesis, Raiter used molecular dynamics simulations to investigate novel electric stimuli responsive polymers. Both students have now had their theses approved.

New publication in Soft Matter Emerging Investigators Issue 2021

Check out our new paper (led by PhD candidate Xinyue(Joy) Zhang! This work aims to isolate the effect of transient metal–ligand crosslinking on the viscoelasticity of polymer networks. A systematic study combining both experimental results and theoretical verification was carried out through a carefully designed system that has no physical entanglements or phase separation. Also, thanks to our old friends – the Diesendruck group at the Technion for a great collaboration.

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The inextricable links between distribution, behavior, and ensemble . . .

PhD candidate Michael Buche and Prof. Silberstein just published a paper on the constitutive modeling of polymer networks using statistical mechanics in Physical Review E. This work is the first to accomplish a general derivation that starts from arbitrary non-interacting single-chain behaviors and ends in the Cauchy stress. It highlights the naturally-occurring statistical correspondences that have been traditionally ignored, and investigates their effects on the macroscopic mechanical response of the network. Our approach here is vital for future constitutive model development.

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Q-Exam Success

Congratulations to Hongyi Cai, Phd candidate in Materials Science and Engineering for passing his qualifying exam last week!

Congratulations to Joy for Passing Her A-Exam!

Congratulations to Joy Zhang, PhD candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering field, for passing her A-exam today!

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Congratulations to Michael for passing his A-exam!

Congratulations to Micheal Buche, PhD candidate in the Theoretical and Applied Mechanics field, for passing his A-exam yesterday!

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