New directions in mechanics

Michael E. Kassner, Sia Nemat-Nasser*, Zhigang Suo, Gang Bao, J. Charles Barbour, L. Catherine Brinson, Horacio Espinosa, Huajian Gao, Steve Granick, Peter Gumbsch, Kyung Suk Kim, Wolfgang Knauss, Ladislas Kubin, James Langer, Ben C. Larson, L. Mahadevan, Arun Majumdar, Salvatore Torquato, Frank Van Swol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


The Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering of the US Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored a workshop to identify cutting-edge research needs and opportunities, enabled by the application of theoretical and applied mechanics. The workshop also included input from biochemical, surface science, and computational disciplines, on approaching scientific issues at the nanoscale, and the linkage of atomistic-scale with nano-, meso-, and continuum-scale mechanics. This paper is a summary of the outcome of the workshop, consisting of three main sections, each put together by a team of workshop participants. Section 1 addresses research opportunities that can be realized by the application of mechanics fundamentals to the general area of self-assembly, directed self-assembly, and fluidics. Section 2 examines the role of mechanics in biological, bioinspired, and biohybrid material systems, closely relating to and complementing the material covered in Section 1. In this manner, it was made dear that mechanics plays a fundamental role in understanding the biological functions at all scales, in seeking to utilize biology and biological techniques to develop new materials and devices, and in the general area of bionanotechnology. While direct observational investigations are an essential ingredient of new discoveries and will continue to open new exciting research doors, it is the basic need for controlled experimentation and fundamentally-based modeling and computational simulations that will be truly empowered by a systematic use of the fundamentals of mechanics. Section 3 brings into focus new challenging issues in inelastic deformation and fracturing of materials that have emerged as a result of the development of nanodevices, biopolymers, and hybrid bio-abio systems. Each section begins with some introductory overview comments, and then provides illustrative examples that were presented at the workshop and which are believed to highlight the enabling research areas and, particularly, the impact that mechanics can make in enhancing the fundamental understanding that can lead to new technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-259
Number of pages29
JournalMechanics of Materials
Issue number2-3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials


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