NIRT: Novel Experiments and Models for the Nanomechanics of Polymeric and Biological Nanofibers

  • Chasiotis, Ioannis I. (PI)
  • Aifantis, Elias E.C. (CoPI)
  • Ballarini, Roberto R. (CoPI)
  • Eppell, Steven (CoPI)
  • Zhigilei, Leonid L. (CoPI)

Project Details


This proposal was received in response to Nanoscale Science and Engineering initiative, NSF 03-043, category NIRT (Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Teams), with special emphasis on the research themes Nanoscale Structures and Multiscale Modeling. The goal of the proposed research program is to develop experimental, theoretical, and computational methodologies for the mechanical characterization of polymeric and biological nanofibers. These nanomaterials are of increasing importance as new and refined nanofabrication capabilities are in place. The non-continuum behavior of sub-micron size structures requires innovative experimental and analytical treatments that address the material behavior at the nanometer scale where macromechanics concepts are inapplicable. This challenge is undertaken by an interdisciplinary Consortium of research groups with combined expertise in nanofiber fabrication, mechanical measurements at the nanoscale, and analytical and computational description of molecular systems.

The proposed interdisciplinary effort will be aimed at the development of novel micro-instrumentation and numerical/analytical multiscale models and their application in the investigation and bridging of material structure and mechanical properties of polymeric and biological nanofibers. This research will support our fundamental understanding of the interrelations between material systems, scale and geometry, provide insight and guidelines for nanoscale materials fabrication, and create a paradigm of integrated experiments and models in multiscale nanomechanics. The results of this work are expected to support nanoscale design and fabrication of hierarchical and biomimetic nano-biomaterials and composites, tissue biomechanics, and high-density nanoelectronics. The Principal Investigators (PIs) will pursue the integration of research and educational activities in nanoscience and nanotechnology via the close interaction between graduate and undergraduate students and PIs at all nodes of this Consortium. The partnership with industrial collaborators will promote the interdisciplinary training of future scientists and engineers in the area of nanotechnology and assist the timely transition of the products of nanotechnology to the general public. Results from this research will be integrated in graduate courses on nanotechnology and computer modeling and will be included in the on-going K-12 outreach activities of the PIs.

Effective start/end date1/09/0430/06/05


  • National Science Foundation: $822,000.00


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