On effective properties of materials at the nano- and microscales considering surface effects. (English) Zbl 1382.74093

Summary: In the last years, the rapid increase in the technical capability to control and design materials at the nanoscale has pushed toward an intensive exploitation of new possibilities concerning optical, chemical, thermoelectrical and electronic applications. As a result, new materials have been developed to obtain specific physical properties and performances. In this general picture, it was natural that the attention toward mechanical characterization of the new structures was left, in a sense, behind. Anyway, once the theoretically designed objects proceed toward concrete manufacturing and applications, an accurate and general description of their mechanical properties becomes more and more scientifically relevant. The aim of the paper is therefore to discuss new methods and techniques for modeling the behavior of nanostructured materials considering surface/interface properties, which are responsible for the main differences between nano- and macroscale, and to determine their actual material properties at the macroscale. Our approach is intended to study the mechanical properties of materials taking into account surface properties including possible complex inner microstructure of surface coatings. We use the Gurtin-Murdoch model of surface elasticity. We consider the inner regular and irregular surface thin coatings (i.e., ordered or disordered nanofibers arrays) and present few examples of averaged 2D properties of them. Since the actual 2D properties depend not only on the mechanical properties of fibers or other elements of a coating, but also on the interaction forces between them, the analysis also includes information on the geometry of the microstructure of the coating, on mechanical properties of elements and on interaction forces. Further we use the obtained 2D properties to derive the effective properties of solids and structures at the macroscale, such as the bending stiffness or Young’s modulus.


74M25 Micromechanics of solids
Full Text: DOI


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