COE/Structural Mechanics Seminar


Understanding local ordering and harnessing vast compositional space of multi-principal element alloys


Prof. Penghui Cao


University of California, Irvine


Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 11:00:00 AM   


MRDC Building, Room 3515


Ting Zhu


Multi-principal element alloys (MPEAs), commonly termed medium- or high-entropy alloys containing three or more components in high concentrations, are presumed to be random solid solutions corresponding to maximum configurational entropy. The ideal random solid solutions in MPEAs, however, may only be possible at temperatures close to the melting point. As the temperature decreases in material processing or during service, solute-solute interaction and mixing enthalpy (enthalpic contribution) predominate the Gibbs free energy and induce local ordering of the chemistry. When this chemical short-range order (SRO) appears in the materials, fundamental questions arise as to (i) how does the SRO influence diffusion, and (ii) what are the deformation mechanisms and dislocation patterning under impact loading? In this presentation, I will first review the background of MPEAs and chemical SRO. In the second part, I will discuss the specific role of SRO on diffusion and deformation mechanism. Through computational modeling, machine learning, and theoretical analysis, we found that SRO considerately reduces and localizes diffusion. Regarding fundamental deformation physics, leveraging on large-scale deformation simulations of a model fcc NiCoCr alloy at the atomistic level, we uncover strikingly different characteristics of dislocation patterning and deformation microstructure evolution under a high loading rate. At the end of the talk, I will present our deep learning framework using neural networks that can promisingly predict diffusion kinetics and dislocation property in vast compositional spaces of MPEAs.


Dr. Penghui Cao is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE), with a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at the University of California Irvine since January 2019. Prior to that, he worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT from 2014 to 2018 after obtaining his PhD in mechanical engineering from Boston University. Dr. Cao leads a group focusing on Extreme Mechanics and Materials at UCI and is the recipient of DOE Early Career research award in 2021.