Welcome to new MMD lab members!

Welcome to new MMD lab members: postdocs Si Chen and Robert Wagner and PhD candidate Ellen van Wijngaarden! And good luck to MMD alums Srikar Srivatsa and Xinyue Zhang with their new awesome west coast careers!

Congratulations Srikar!

Congratulations to now former graduate student Srikar Srivatsa for successfully defending his Masters thesis last week!

Modeling Polymer Chains

MMD lab graduate Michael Buche just published work started in his PhD thesis in Physical Review E. “Freely jointed chain models with extensible links” presents how to derive asymptotically correct analytical expressions for the force-stretch relationships for polymer chains with extensible bonds utilizing statistical thermodynamics. This work was co-authored with Prof Silberstein and fellow Cornell Theoretical and Applied Mechanics graduate Scott Grutzik.

Paper on modeling ionotronics out in JMPS

The design of functional and soft ionotronic devices has gained a considerable interest over the last decade, with applications ranging from sensing and energy harvesting to drug delivery. The coupled electrochemical and mechanical response of soft ionic polymers plays a pivotal role in the operation of many such devices and presents a significant challenge for design evaluation. In our new publication in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, we report on a multiphysics model and a finite element approach for solving electro-chemo-mechanical problems. This computational study led by Nikola Bosnjak and Max Tepermeister investigates the mechanisms underlying the operation of ionotronic devices, and paves the way for reliable development of novel devices through finite element analysis.

State Variable Modeling

Ever wonder how to conceptualize and formulate a continuum scale material model that captures the critical physics? Want to learn how really understand constitutive theory papers? Prof Silberstein will be teaching State Variable Modeling this fall. See the syllabus for more information.

Microbial Stress Gordon Research Conference

Prof Silberstein attended and presented a poster with Dr. Joy Zhang’s work at the GRC “Microbial Stress Response: Bacterial Mechanisms for Sensing, Responding and Adapting to Stress” last week.

Review Paper on Soft Ionics

How can soft polymer systems create devices that process information and interact with the world around them? That is the topic of a new review paper led by Max Tepermeister and with contribution from many members of the Silberstein lab and in collaboration with the Suntivich and Tian groups and published in Frontiers in Physics. Ionic polymers promise to underpin a new class of electronics that are soft, flexible and take advantage of the wide range of possible polymer functionalization. In this review, we present the underlying physical principles that govern the behavior of soft ionic materials
and devices, then we explore how soft ionic materials combine charged mobile species and tailored polymer structures to enable a wide array of functional devices, including flexible conductors, chemically specific sensors, bio-compatible interfaces, and deformable digital or analog signal processors. We identify the five key capabilities of ionic devices, and detail the cutting edge of each capability, bringing together findings from a range of research fields. Check out the supplementary animations we created for each device on our Youtube channel.

Congratulations to Joy and Hongyi!

Congratulations to PhD candidate Hongyi Cai for passing his A-exam last week and congratulations to Dr. Xinyue (Joy) Zhang for successfully defending her thesis!!!

Atkinson Venture Fund grant awarded for Engineered Living Materials

Prof. Silberstein is part of a winning Atkinson Venture Fund grant team. The interdisciplinary project is led by Prof. Rong Yang in the Chemical and Biological Engineering department at Cornell. This new ELMI project “Engineered Living Materials for Indoor Air Quality Control,” will use a hybrid approach of yeast and synthetic polymers to take on indoor air toxins. See the Cornell Chronicle article for the full story.


Part of the MMD lab is participating in the U.S. National Congress on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics this week.

Check out our talks on Wednesday 6/22: Srikar Srivatsa is speaking at 2:45pm in the “Mechanics of Architected Materials” session. Nikola Bosnjak is speaking at 4:45pm in the “Soft Matter Mechanics, Physics and Devices” session. Meredith Silberstein is speaking at 10:55am in the “Mechanics of Soft Matter: From Living Systems to Functional Composites” session.

Please also attend the sessions we’re co-organizing with Noy Cohen (Technion) and Shawn Chester (NJIT) on Mechanics of Polymeric Gels (TS5 and TS6). They’re Tuesday 6/21 starting at 1:45pm and 3:45pm.