Characterization and Design of Functional Quasi-Random Nanostructured Materials Using Spectral Density Function

Shuangcheng Yu, Yichi Zhang, Chen Wang, Won Kyu Lee, Biqin Dong, Teri W. Odom, Cheng Sun, Wei Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Quasi-random nanostructures are playing an increasingly important role in developing advanced material systems with various functionalities. Current development of functional quasi-random nanostructured material systems (NMSs) mainly follows a sequential strategy without considering the fabrication conditions in nanostructure optimization, which limits the feasibility of the optimized design for large-scale, parallel nanomanufacturing using bottom-up processes. We propose a novel design methodology for designing isotropic quasi-random NMSs that employs spectral density function (SDF) to concurrently optimize the nanostructure and design the corresponding nanomanufacturing conditions of a bottom-up process. Alternative to the well-known correlation functions for characterizing the structural correlation of NMSs, the SDF provides a convenient and informative design representation that maps processing-structure relation to enable fast explorations of optimal fabricable nanostructures and to exploit the stochastic nature of manufacturing processes. In this paper, we first introduce the SDF as a nondeterministic design representation for quasi-random NMSs, as an alternative to the two-point correlation function. Efficient reconstruction methods for quasi-random NMSs are developed for handling different morphologies, such as the channel-type and particle-type, in simulation-based microstructural design. The SDF-based computational design methodology is illustrated by the optimization of quasi-random light-trapping nanostructures in thin-film solar cells for both channel-type and particle-type NMSs. Finally, the concurrent design strategy is employed to optimize the quasi-random light-trapping structure manufactured via scalable wrinkle nanolithography process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number071401
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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