Plastic Deformation at the Nanoscale

By Marisol Koslowski

Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

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We usually experience the way objects deform plastically on a macroscopic scale. From a car crash to the bending of a paper clip plastic deformation occurs in the form of a smooth flow as a response of an applied stress. But due to the constant shrinking on the dimensions of mechanical devices -such as micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) and micro electronic interconnects- the notion that plasticity is governed not by a steady flow but by the occurrence of intermittent avalanches of defects moving through the material is gaining increasing attention.

To model the deformation of metallic materials at micron and submicron scales a continuum theory of dislocations is derived. We will introduce the MicroMechanics Simulation Tool and the NanoPlasticity Lab. Both tools are dislocation mechanics simulations for the prediction of plastic deformation of metals. We will show some simulations that show the formation of structures and their influence in macroscopic deformation as for example the dependence on the yield stress on a characteristic size of the sample.


Marisol Koslowski Marisol Koslowski is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue she was a Staff Member and a postdoctoral scholar in the Theoretical Division in Los Alamos National Laboratory. Marisol Koslowski received the Leon Heller award for a postdoctoral publication in Theoretical Physics from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2006. She received her B.S. degree in Physics in 1997  from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and her M.S in 1999 and her Ph. D. in Aeronautics in 2003 from the California Institute of Technology.

Koslowski’s group has extensive experience on simulating the effect of grain boundaries and dislocations on the response of crystalline materials and damage and failure due to crack propagation in composites.

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  • Marisol Koslowski (2015), "Plastic Deformation at the Nanoscale,"

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