Designing and synthesizing nano-metallic materials that resist flow localization under mechanical deformation

Project Personnel

Michael Demkowicz

Principal Investigator

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)


Amit Misra

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


Diana Farkas

Virginia Tech


Funding Divisions

Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)

Often,  the  main  factor  limiting  the  performance  of  vehicles,  power  generators,  civil  engineering structures, and many other products is the durability of the metals they are made of. Better metals are therefore key to advancing technologies at the core of US competitiveness and security: transportation, energy,  and  infrastructure.  Nano-metallic  materials  comprise  a  class  of  metals  that  promise  to  fill  this need: they possess extreme strength, resistance to damage from repeated loading, and numerous unique properties such as resistance to radiation damage. This research project addresses a drawback of nano-metallic  materials  that  has  so  far  limited  their  practical  use.  Namely:  when  they  stretch,  they  do  not elongate uniformly throughout, but rather pinch off in isolated locations. This project will create nano-metallic materials that stretch uniformly and are therefore not prone to sudden failures. It will thereby remove a major impediment to the widespread technical use of nano-metallic materials and accelerate their deployment to the marketplace. This project will also undertake outreach activities to high school teachers and students, women, individuals from underrepresented minorities, and the broader scientific community.