Materials strength: does size matter? nanoMATERIALS simulation toolkit tutorial

By Alejandro Strachan

Purdue University

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Molecular dynamics (MD) is a powerful technique to characterize the fundamental, atomic-level processes that govern materials behavior and is playing an important role in our understanding of the new phenomena that arises in nanoscale and nanostructured materials and result in their unique properties. This tutorial focuses on the atomic level mechanisms that govern the strength of materials and how they are affected by size and microstructure. In order to provide a hands-on experience we will introduce the use of the "nanoMATERIALS simulation toolkit'" a general purpose tool for the atomistic simulation of materials available at the nanoHUB. Users will use MD to characterize the deformation of metallic nanowires and analyze and visualize the results. We foresee that such simulations will help students and researchers interested in nanotechnology gain a more intuitive understanding of materials at atomic level.


Alejandro Strachan received his doctoral degree in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Before joining Purdue, Strachan was a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory and worked at the California Institute of Technology. Prof. Strachan’s research focuses on developing and validating computational methodologies aimed at predicting the behavior of materials from first principles and their application in technologically relevant areas where a molecular-level understanding is lacking and can help solve outstanding problems. Areas of interest include: active and energetic materials, mechanical properties of nanoscale or nano-structured materials, and computational materials design.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Alejandro Strachan (2007), "Materials strength: does size matter? nanoMATERIALS simulation toolkit tutorial,"

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