Plastic Deformation at Micron and Submicron Scales

By Marisol Koslowski

Purdue University

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Most people experiences the way objects plastically deform 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 a dislocation mechanics simulation tool for the prediction of plastic deformation of single crystals. 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 the characteristic size of the sample.


Marisol Koslowski
Dr. Marisol Koslowski is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University. Previously she was a Technical Staff Member in the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. 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. Her research interests are the development of theoretical and numerical tools to study the mechanical response of materials and structures, especially at micro- and nano- scales.


The Micromechanics Simulation Tool (MMST) referenced in this seminar is hosted live on the nanoHUB.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Marisol Koslowski (2007), "Plastic Deformation at Micron and Submicron Scales,"

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EE 317, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN