Atomistic mechanical testing of nanostructures - Seeing the invisible and bridging theory and experiments

Horacio Dante Espinosa*, Rodrigo A. Bernal, Ravi Agawal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Recently there has been a major thrust to develop novel nanomaterials exhibiting unique properties. These nanostructures are envisioned as building blocks for the next generation of electronic and energy harvesting systems. In this context, identification of their size-dependent properties is essential, but due to challenges in nanoscale experimentation, unambiguous characterization of mechanical and electromechanical behavior has been elusive. However, in the past few years, in-situ experimentation has emerged as a powerful technique to overcome these challenges. Furthermore, the coupling of such experimental findings to atomistic simulations has shown to have the potential to reveal mechanistic insights, essential for the deep understanding of nanoscale behavior. Here, we present a summary of a few significant results obtained by our group using this approach. Specifically, we discuss size effects that influence the mechanical and electromechanical properties of metallic and semiconducting nanowires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-452
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia IUTAM
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event23rd International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics: Mechanics for the World, ICTAM 2012 - Beijing, China
Duration: Aug 19 2012Aug 24 2012


  • Atomistic modeling
  • Electromechanical properties
  • In-situ TEM
  • Nanowire testing
  • Size effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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