Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Faculty
College of Engineering
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
NanoTECH Research Area Affiliations
Dr Yavari’s interests are in developing theories of discrete mechanics for crystalline solids with defects. Defects play a crucial role in determining the properties of materials. The development of atomistic methods including density functional theory, bond-order potentials and embedded atom potentials has enabled a detailed study of such defects. However, much of the work is numerical and often with ad hoc boundary/far-field conditions. Specifically, a systematic method for studying these discrete yet non-local problems is lacking. Design in small scales requires solving inverse problems and this is not possible with purely numerical techniques. From a mechanics point of view, defective crystals are modeled as discrete boundary-value problems. The challenging issues are extending the existing techniques from solid state physics for non-periodic systems, new developments in the theory of vector-valued partial difference equations, existence and uniqueness of solutions of discrete boundary-value problems and their symmetries, etc. The other efforts in this direction are understanding the geometric structure of discrete mechanics and its link with similar attempts in the physics and computational mechanics literatures and investigating the rigorous continuum limits of defective crystals.
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