Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

COE/Structural Mechanics Seminar


Twists and Ripples: Self-Organization of 1- and 2D Structures into New Multi-Functional Materials


Prof. Sam Tawfick


Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois


Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 11:00:00 AM


MRDC Building, Room 4211


Prof. Massimo Ruzzene


The bottom-up synthesis and self-organization of precisely engineered 1D and 2D materials enables new multi-functional designs. In particular, owing to their low dimensionality, the use of carbon nanotubes and graphene in load-bearing materials requires deep understanding of their mechanics from the atomic to micron scales. I will demonstrate extremely reconfigurable materials made of polymorphic fibers. We study the dynamics of spontaneous self-organization of long hair to balance elastic, capillary and viscous forces. We demonstrate the use of twisted and bundled hair in kinetic surface textures and artificial muscles. Proceeding to 2D materials, I will demonstrate exceptionally tough graphene materials for stress-tolerant flexible electronics. The unusual properties of these thin films originate from the atomic rippling of graphene on crystalline metal (Palladium) surfaces, resulting in the formation of 2D/3D heterostructures. Moire patterns stem from periodic arrangements of carbon and Pd atoms, and represent the signature of curious atomic-scale mechanics in these heterostructures. Finally, a data-driven framework is proposed to scale the manufacturing of these new materials for use in coatings and microelectronic devices.


Sam Tawfick is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering and the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His research is focused on synthesis, self-assembly and mechanical behavior of materials. Tawfick obtained his PhD from the University of Michigan and was a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT. He is the recipient of the AFOSR Young Investigator Program, the Chao and Trigger Young Manufacturing Engineer from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the Robert M. Caddell Memorial Award for outstanding research in manufacturing, the Azarkhin Award and the Ivor K. McIvor Award for outstanding research in applied mechanics from the University of Michigan.


Refreshments will be served.