Friday, February 11, 2011
Dr. Antonio Rinaldi
Department of Chemical Science and Technology
University of Rome
The advances that have occurred in nanomechanics over the past 5-10 years, both as far as probing and modeling mechanical properties of solid nanoscale materials, have spurred new ideas and important perspective applications in engineering. The structural properties of nano-sized materials (e.g. elasticity, plasticity, fracture, etc.) are observed in first place to be very different from bulk values, which implies, for example, that NEMS and MEMS components will have to be designed or characterized according to novel size dependent criteria in place of the conventional size-independent approach. Besides structural aspects, though, the nanomechanical properties of a given material system may also alter or control its functional properties by virtue of strong mechano-coupling effects. That is advantageous for many foreseeable application, such as energy harvesting by means of ZnO nanogernerators, spintronics, bio-materials for tissue engineering, etc.
In such an heterogeneous context, the seminar covers a few selected examples from our direct work. The results point out that the characterization of the fundamental structure-property relations underlying the structural and functional properties of a given application usually requires a mixed research strategy, combining experiments and modeling techniques of nanomechanics.
Antonio Rinaldi holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University (2004). He is currently a Senior Research Scientist at ENEA (the Italian National Research Center for Innovation and Technology) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Chemical Science and Technology at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy. Current research has a strong emphasis on nanomechanics and functional nanoscale materials, within a broader, multidisciplinary research scope that covers diverse topics in solid mechanics and materials science, e.g. damage mechanics, mechanical design and failure analysis, statistical discrete modeling, microscopy, nanobiotechnoligies for health and energy. The main experimental and modeling results in these subject areas are detailed in several international publications (including refereed journals and book chapters).