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Joost Vlassak's picture

The Effect of Water Diffusion on the Adhesion of Organosilicate Glass Film Stacks

Ting Y. Tsui, Andrew J. McKerrow, and Joost J. Vlassak

Published in the Journal of The Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 54 (5), 887-903 (2006)

Abstract – Organosilicate glass (OSG) is a material that is used as a dielectric in advanced integrated circuits. It has a network structure similar to that of amorphous silica where a fraction of the Si-O bonds has been replaced by organic groups. It is well known from prior work that OSG is sensitive to subcritical crack growth as water molecules in the environment are transported to the crack tip and assist in rupturing Si-O bonds at the crack tip. In this study, we demonstrate that exposure of an OSG containing film stack to water prior to fracture results in degradation of the adhesion of the film stack. This degradation is the result of the diffusion of water into the film stack. We propose a quantitative model to predict adhesion degradation as a function of exposure time by coupling the results of independent subcritical crack growth measurements with diffusion concentration profiles. The model agrees well with experimental data and provides a novel method for measuring the water diffusion coefficient in film stacks that contain OSG. This study has important implications for the reliability of advanced integrated circuits.

Ashkan Vaziri's picture

Deformation of the cell nucleus under indentation: Mechanics and Mechanisms

Computational models of the cell nucleus, along with experimental observations, can help in understanding the biomechanics of force-induced nuclear deformation and mechanisms of stress transition throughout the nucleus. Here, we develop a computational model for an isolated nucleus undergoing indentation, which includes separate components representing the nucleoplasm and the nuclear envelope. The nuclear envelope itself is composed of three separate layers: two thin elastic layers representing the inner and outer nuclear membranes and one thicker layer representing the nuclear lamina. The proposed model is capable of separating the structural role of major nuclear components in the force-induced biological response of the nucleus (and ultimately the cell). A systematic analysis is carried out to explore the role of major individual nuclear elements, namely inner and outer membranes, nuclear lamina, and nucleoplasm, as well as the loading and experimental factors such as indentation rate and probe angle, on the biomechanical response of an isolated nucleus in atomic force microscopy indentation experiment.

Microcantilever for biomolecular detections

Microcantilevers have taken much attention as devices for label-free detection of molecules and/or their conformations in solutions and air. Recently, microcantilevers have allowed the nanomechanical mass detection of thin film [1-3], small molecules [4, 5], and biological components such as viruses [6] and vesicles [7] in the order of a pico-gram to a zepto-gram. The great potential of microcantilevers is the sensitive, reliable, fast label-free detection of proteins and/or protein conformations. Specifically, microcantilevers are capable of label-free detection of marker proteins related to diseases, even at a low concentration in solution [8-17]. Microcantilevers, operated in a viscous fluid, have also enabled the real-time monitoring of protein-protein interactions [8, 12-15]. Furthermore, microcantilevers are able to recognize the specific protein conformations [18] and/or reversible conformation changes of proteins/polymers [19, 20].

Demitris Kouris's picture

Associate or Assistant Professor -- Experimental Mechanics of Materials

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wyoming invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position. Applicants are sought at the Associate or Assistant Professor level with expertise in experimental mechanics and particularly in emerging areas of science and technology. Such areas include but are not limited to the study of biomaterials, tissue engineering, nanomechanics of engineering materials, as well as thin films and multilayers, fracture, fatigue and damage.

The successful applicant will be expected to establish a strong, funded research program, as well as teach at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She/He will be expected to participate in interdisciplinary research efforts both within and outside the College of Engineering. Minimum qualifications include an earned doctorate in mechanical engineering, materials science/engineering, or a closely related field.

Cellular and Molecular Mechanics

Cellular and Molecular Mechanics I was invited by Dr. Zhigang Suo to write a short piece on “Cellular and Molecular Mechanics”. I am writing this informally to introduce this subject matter rather than talk in vernacular such as mechanotransduction, phosphorylation, etc. I have more formal papers if someone is interested in more detailed discussions on this subject area. This is a field in which I have been working for over a decade now and I find it more exciting every day. The question always is how does mechanics affect biological processes. This is a very interdisciplinary subject matter as mechanists, engineers, physicists, chemists, and biologists have been investigating this process from various perspectives. I am obviously not the first to study this process. For most of us, it is realized from an empirical perspective that mechanics matters to biology, but exactly how mechanics specifically alters biochemistry continues to be highly debated today. Mechanics of course matters in many physiological areas. Your blood flows, your heart pumps, your bone and muscle feel mechanics. Not only does the body experience mechanical stimulation, but it reacts biochemically to it. A wonderful example is when people go into space (NASA) for long periods of time. The bone in one’s body begins to resorb in a similar response mode to what one experiences in aging (osteoporosis). This is primarily due to just the change in the gravity (mechanics). Other diseases are related to these issues including the two biggest killers: heart disease and cancer. While biomechanics on this scale has been studied for awhile (Leonardo Da Vinci, who was interested in mechanics, also wrote one of the first texts on anatomy), the movement to the cellular and molecular scales has brought a tremendous amount of excitement. I consider the cell as one of the ultimate smart materials exhibiting these characteristics. The cell has evolved over millions of years and is designed better than almost any system that we can personally build. Just as the biological eye provides a beautiful template for optics based lenses, much can be learned about building technology (“nanotechnology” and “microtechnology”) through examining the behavior of cells and molecules.

The Fourth China-Japan-Korea Joint Symposium on Optimization of Structural and Mechanical Systems

The Fourth China-Japan-Korea Joint Symposium on Optimization of Structural and Mechanical Systems will be held in Kunming, China, November 6–9, 2006.

http://sail.dlut.edu.cn/cjkosm4/Home/Index.htm

Recent advances of computer technology have given powerful practical tools to structural and mechanical designs. Optimal design is one of such area where various theories and methodologies are well developed. It is, however, lacking general interests among field designers and engineers. Innovative optimal design techniques and new applications are yet to be developed. Following the successful first CJK-OSM1 in Xian, China in 1999, second (CJK-OSM2) in Busan, Korea in 2002 and the third (CJK-OSM3) in Kanazawa, Japan in 2004, as agreed among participants in the symposium, the fourth CJK-OSM symposium will be held in Kunming, China during Nov. 6th -Nov. 9th, 2006. As before this will be a forum for exchange of recent research ideas and fostering new developments and new applications. Reflecting current interests from various fields, several new topics are included. The scope is, however, not limited to those listed.

Symposium on Mechanics in Biology and Medicine

This symposium will be part of the 2007 ASME Applied Mechanics and Materials Conference, to be held in the University of Texas in Austin, in June 3-6, 2007.

Student Presentation Competition at USNCCM IX

The 9th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics will feature a student presentation competition. This competition continues in the format pursued at the recent World Congress in Los Angeles. It is open to students who have an abstract accepted for presentation at the Congress.

2000 Timoshenko Medal Acceptance Speech by Rodney J. Clifton

November 9, 2000

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Pradeep Sharma's picture

Journal Club: Response/Feedback requested

Hello everyone,

I had previously posted this entry on the AMD blog and perhaps it worthwhile to post it again on this forum. I would like to solicit feedback and comments on an idea to further enhance the role and utility of iMechanica.

This inspiration comes from Bell labs and the physics community.....

They started a journal club (year 2003). Each month ONLY 2-3 already published recent journal papers are reviewed and commentary posted in the form of a newsletter. Since only 2-3 papers are reviewed, the selection is much more stringent and careful. The contribution is regular and periodic (monthly). Hence, this newsletter is taken seriously by physicists.

In our case, this can be done within iMechanica. I suspect we could achieve the same kind of interest if we restrict "notable" papers to 1-3 per month and make it a regular monthly feature. In principle anyone could submit a commentary but the blog moderators will select the top 2-3.

The operational rules are open for discussion. Briefly though, I am thinking on the lines of rotating 1-2 moderators with a term of say 2 months. The moderator will receive commentaries on recently published papers RELATED to mechanics area. The moderator will highlight 1-3 notable commentaries in the journal club newsletter. A key requirement must be that the commentaries/paper highlighted are related to mechanics in some form or the other. The concept of rotating moderator is to provide breadth and prevent bias of any one individual. Rotation of journal club moderators will also keep the "work-load" well distributed.

Pradeep Sharma's picture

Collected Works of J.D. Eshelby

Perhaps a post has already been made in this regard; A book containing all the papers by J.D. Eshelby was recently released by Springer. This book is compiled by Markenscoff and Gupta. Congratulations to both of them for such a great idea!

I bought this book last week and it is fascinating to read all of Eshelby's papers in chronological order. Furthermore, I found a few papers that I had not even been aware of. The price, at roughly $195 on Amazon is a bit steep but (in my opinion) well worth it. The book also contains forewords by several researcher who knew Eshelby personally.

Here is the amazon link to this book

Ting Zhu's picture

Handbook of Materials Modeling

by S. Yip (Editor), 2005

Book Review
"A new guide to materials modeling largely succeeds in its aim to be the defining reference for the field of computational materials science and represents a huge undertaking..." -- by James Elliott | University of Cambridge, Materials Today, Volume 9, Issues 7-8, July-Aug 2006, Pages 51-52.

Book Description
The first reference of its kind in the rapidly emerging field of computational approachs to materials research, this is a compendium of perspective-providing and topical articles written to inform students and non-specialists of the current status and capabilities of modelling and simulation. From the standpoint of methodology, the development follows a multiscale approach with emphasis on electronic-structure, atomistic, and mesoscale methods, as well as mathematical analysis and rate processes. Basic models are treated across traditional disciplines, not only in the discussion of methods but also in chapters on crystal defects, microstructure, fluids, polymers and soft matter. Written by authors who are actively participating in the current development, this collection of 150 articles has the breadth and depth to be a major contributor toward defining the field of computational materials. In addition, there are 40 commentaries by highly respected researchers, presenting various views that should interest the future generations of the community. Subject Editors: Martin Bazant, MIT; Bruce Boghosian, Tufts University; Richard Catlow, Royal Institution; Long-Qing Chen, Pennsylvania State University; William Curtin, Brown University; Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Nicolas Hadjiconstantinou, MIT; Mark F. Horstemeyer, Mississippi State University; Efthimios Kaxiras, Harvard University; L. Mahadevan, Harvard University; Dimitrios Maroudas, University of Massachusetts; Nicola Marzari, MIT; Horia Metiu, University of California Santa Barbara; Gregory C. Rutledge, MIT; David J. Srolovitz, Princeton University; Bernhardt L. Trout, MIT; Dieter Wolf, Argonne National Laboratory.

Ravi-Chandar's picture

McMat 2007 Applied Mechanics and Materials Conference

The McMat 2007 conference, organized by the University of Texas on behalf of the Applied Mechanics and the Materials Divisions of the ASME, will be held in Austin, June 3-7, 2007.

We are now accepting proposals for symposia and abstracts of papers.

Ling Liu's picture

Ninth U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics

USNCCM IX, July 22 - 26, 2007
Pre- & Post-Congress Short Courses, July 22 & 26, 2007
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
San Francisco, California

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE
From their inception in 1991, the biennial congresses of the United States Association for Computational Mechanics have become major scientific events, drawing computational engineers and scientists worldwide from government, academia, and industry. The Ninth U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics (USNCCM IX), hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, will feature the latest developments in all aspects of computational mechanics, and will broaden the definition of the discipline to include many other computation-oriented areas in engineering and sciences. From applications in nanotechnology and bioengineering, to recent advances in numerical methods and high-performance computing, the technical program will reflect the Congress theme of "Interdisciplinary Computation''. In addition to plenary lectures and minisymposia that highlight the latest trends in computational mechanics, pre- and post-conference short courses addressing advances in multiscale and multiphysics methods, as well as other topics, will be held. Numerous vendor exhibits from Bay Area and national companies and organizations are also planned. Detailed information on USNCCM IX can be found at:
http://me.berkeley.edu/compmat/USACM/main.html

Rui Huang's picture

From students' perspective

I like to keep the mindset of being a student, learning from all sources on all topics I am interested. Recently I have learned quite a lot about mechanics and mechanicians from Applied Mechanics News and its sister blogs and now iMechanica.

With a job as an assistant professor, I always try to motivate my students to become future mechanicians. For this reason, I started Modeling Place as a group blog in January and gently forced my students to participate. Out of the five students I have, two actively participate by posting frequently, two occasionally post, and one dropped out quickly after one post. Together, the blog has been doing reasonably well, in terms of both quantity and quality of posts.

I learned a few tricks in handling images and got to know some interesting works in the general area of mechanics. How about the students? What benefits have they received? I have to ask them. For one, I awarded one student with a little gift as the best post of the semester. More importantly, I believe that they are reading more than they used to do, thus gaining broader knowledge and interest in mechanics and related science. They not only read the posts in the blog but also read from other sources (online or not) to find something to post. Furthermore, they have a place to practice writing. It is a big step from reading to writing, not only for foreign students I think.

It may be still too soon to tell how well this works, but the students themselves should be able to tell us more. If you are a student, I encourage you to comment on this to tell the professors what you like or don't like about iMechanica. At this stage of development, much more features and benefits can be accomodated. Your ideas could shape the future of iMechanica and benefit all students and those considering themselves as students of life.

Electric Field May Promote Exfoliation of Clay Nanoplates

Nanocomposite performance fundamentally relies on reproducible dispersion and arrangement of nanoparticles, such that the dominate morphology across macroscopic dimensions is also nanoscopic. To facilitate dispersion, chemical approaches, including surfactant or macromolecular stabilization are usually employed to modify the surface of nanoparticles. However, the approach depends on the material system and usually involves trial-and-error to identify the best practice. Much less quantitative information is available on the coupling between the surface modification and external processing factors, including shear, electric or magnetic fields. In a recent work, we considered electric field on the interaction of nano-plates. For ideal dielectrics an electric field may assist (or retard) exfoliation depending on the angle between a collection of plates and the field. A critical electric field strength to promote exfoliation is predicted when the field is parallel to the surface of the plates. Structural refinement is predicted to occur by cleavage through the center of the stack. For lossy dielectrics, frequency can be tuned to cause exfoliation in all plate orientations.

Nanshu Lu's picture

2006 ASME Congress, November 5-10, 2006, Chicago, IL

Here is the website for the 2006 ASME Congress. For the applied mechanics program, click "Program Overview", then choose "Applied Mechanics" from the list of topics.

Xiaodong Li's picture

A New Class of Composite Materials - Graphene-based Composite Materials

Professor Rodney Ruoff and colleagues at Northwestern University and Purdue University have developed a process that promises to lead to the creation of a new class of composite materials - graphene-based materials. They reported the results of their research in Nature, 442 (2006) 282-286. This team has overcome the difficulties of yielding a uniform distribution of graphene-based sheets in a polymer matrix. Such composites can be readily processed using standard industrial technologies such as moulding and hot-pressing. The technique should be applicable to a wide variety of polymers. The graphene composites may compete with carbon nanotube-based materials in terms of mechanical properties. This new class of composites may stimulate the applied mechanics community to study the fundamental reinforcing mechanisms of graphene sheets from both experimental and theoretical approaches.

Ji Wang's picture

Symposium on the Mechanics of Electromagnetic Materials and Structures, ICNM-V, June 11-14, 2007, Shanghai

You are cordially invited to participate in the Symposium on the Mechanics of Electromagnetic Materials and Structures, the 5th International Conference on Nonlinear Mechanics (ICNM-V), to be held in Shanghai, China, June 11-14, 2007.  You may find more information at the website of the conference.

The symposium topics include piezoelectricity, ferroelectricity, magnetoelasticity, electromagnetic fluids and various applications in engineering and technology, but are not limited to the above. Experimental, theoretical, and computational studies are all welcome.

Please e-mail your one-page abstract(s) to any of us listed below. We look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Professor Ji Wang, Ningbo University, wangji@nbu.edu.cn

Professor Yuantai Hu, Central South University, hudeng@263.net

Professor Jiashi Yang, University of Nebraska, jyang1@unl.edu

Professor Daining Fang, Tsinghua University, fangdn@tsinghua.edu.cn

Submission of abstract: as soon as possible.

Notification of acceptance: Nov. 1, 2006

Submission of final paper(s) for the conference proceedings: Jan. 1, 2007

Wei Hong's picture

Interplay between elastic interactions and kinetic processes in stepped Si (001) homoepitaxy

A vicinal Si (001) surface may form stripes of terraces, separated by monatomic-layer-high steps of two kinds, SA and SB. As adatoms diffuse on the terraces and attach to or detach from the steps, the steps move. In equilibrium, the steps are equally spaced due to elastic interaction. During deposition, however, SA is less mobile than SB. We model the interplay between the elastic and kinetic effects that drives step motion, and show that during homoepitaxy all the steps may move in a steady state, such that alternating terraces have time-independent, but unequal, widths. The ratio between the widths of neighboring terraces is tunable by the deposition flux and substrate temperature. We study the stability of the steady state mode of growth using both linear perturbation analysis and numerical simulations. We elucidate the delicate roles played by the standard Ehrlich-Schwoebel (ES) barriers and inverse ES barriers in influencing growth stability in the complex system containing (SA+SB) step pairs.

Preprint available in the attachment.

Ting Zhu's picture

Linking Interfacial Plasticity to Ductility: A Modeling Framework for Nanostructured Metals

Ting Zhu, Ju Li, Amit Samanta, Hyoung Gyu Kim and Subra Suresh

Nano-twinned copper exhibits an unusual combination of ultrahigh strength and high ductility, along with increased strain-rate sensitivity. We develop a mechanistic framework for predicting the rate sensitivity and elucidating the origin of ductility in terms of the interactions of dislocations with interfaces. Using atomistic reaction pathway calculations, we show that twin boundary (TB) mediated slip transfer reactions are the rate-controlling mechanisms of plastic flow. We attribute the relatively high ductility of nano-twinned copper to the hardenability of TBs as they gradually lose coherency during deformation. These results offer new avenues for tailoring material interfaces for optimized properties.

see the attached pdf file

Zhigang Suo's picture

How does iMechanica relate to Applied Mechanics Blogs?

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In January 2006, with the encouragement of the Executive Committee of the ASME Applied Mechanics Division, several volunteers initialed Applied Mechanics News (AMN), a blog of news and views of interest to the international community of Applied Mechanics, accompanied by sister blogs covering research and researchers, conferences, and jobs. Within weeks, AMN topped the list on Google, Yahoo and MSN for the query of applied mechanics news. By late August 2006, the four sister blogs had a total of over 65,000 page loads, and on average over hundred unique visitors every day, from all over the world.

The Internet has enabled AMN to be international and inter-organizational. The news can be updated continuously by many volunteers. Some of the initial thoughts of AMN was collected in the entry Applied Mechanics in the Age of Web 2.0.

Teng Li's picture

Why should you post in iMechanica?

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Because you love mechanics and because you want to help others to learn mechanics. Well, these may be part of the reason. Perhaps more importantly, you would like to help yourself by helping others to discover you and your research.

Xi Chen's picture

A molecular dynamics-decorated finite element framework for simulating the mechanical behaviors of biomolecules

Cover of Biophysical JournalOur first paper in biomechanics is featured as the cover of the Biophysical Journal. The paper is attached. Several freelance writers in biophysics have reported this paper in magazines and websites/blogs. This framework is very versatile and powerful, and we are now implementing more details/atomistic features into this phenomenological approach, and the follow-up paper will be submitted soon.

Abstract: The gating pathways of mechanosensitive channels of large conductance (MscL) in two bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Escherichia coli) are studied using the finite element method. The phenomenological model treats transmembrane helices as elastic rods and the lipid membrane as an elastic sheet of finite thickness; the model is inspired by the crystal structure of MscL. The interactions between various continuum components are derived from molecular-mechanics energy calculations using the CHARMM all-atom force field. Both bacterial MscLs open fully upon in-plane tension in the membrane and the variation of pore diameter with membrane tension is found to be essentially linear. The estimated gating tension is close to the experimental value. The structural variations along the gating pathway are consistent with previous analyses based on structural models with experimental constraints and biased atomistic molecular-dynamics simulations. Upon membrane bending, neither MscL opens substantially, although there is notable and nonmonotonic variation in the pore radius. This emphasizes that the gating behavior of MscL depends critically on the form of the mechanical perturbation and reinforces the idea that the crucial gating parameter is lateral tension in the membrane rather than the curvature of the

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