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Nonlocal Microstructural Mechanics of Active Materials


Dayal, Kaushik (2007) Nonlocal Microstructural Mechanics of Active Materials. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/YGR6-H428.


This thesis deals with two aspects of the mechanics of symmetry-breaking defects such as phase boundaries, inclusions and free surfaces, and their role in the macroscopic response of active materials. We first examine the problem of kinetics using a nonlocal theory, and then study the role of geometry in active materials with fields that are not confined to the material.

Classical PDE continuum models of active materials are not closed, and require nucleation and kinetic information or regularization as additional constitutive input. We examine this problem in the peridynamic formulation, a nonlocal continuum model that uses integral equations to account for long-range forces that are important at small scales, and allows resolution of the structure of interfaces. Our analysis shows that kinetics is inherent to the theory. Viewing nucleation as a dynamic instability at small times, we obtain interesting scaling results and insight into nucleation in regularized theories. We also exploit the computational ease of this theory to study an unusual mechanism that allows a phase boundary to bypass an inclusion.

Shifting focus to problems of an applied nature, we consider issues in the design of ferroelectric optical/electronic circuit elements. Free surfaces and electrodes on these devices generate electrical fields that must be resolved over all space, and not just within the body. These fields greatly enhance the importance of geometry in understanding the electromechanical response of these materials, and give rise to strong size and shape dependence. We describe a computational method that transforms this problem into a local setting in an accurate and efficient manner. We apply it to three examples: closure domains, a ferroelectric slab with segmented electrodes and a notch subjected to electro-mechanical loading.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:boundary element method; ferroelectric domains; ferroelectric fracture toughening; ferroelectrics; free surfaces; kinetics; microstructure; nucleation; peridynamics; phase boundaries; phase transformation; shape-memory
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Minor Option:Materials Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik
Thesis Committee:
  • Bhattacharya, Kaushik (chair)
  • Rosakis, Ares J.
  • Goodwin, David G.
  • Ravichandran, Guruswami
  • Knowles, James K.
  • Lapusta, Nadia
Defense Date:12 June 2006
Non-Caltech Author Email:kaushikdayal (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-06122006-161234
Persistent URL:
Dayal, Kaushik0000-0002-0516-3066
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2558
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:20 Jun 2006
Last Modified:16 Mar 2020 23:05

Thesis Files

PDF (Kaushik-Dayal_PhD-Thesis.pdf) - Final Version
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[img] Video (AVI) (IDE.avi) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (AVI) (notch.avi) - Supplemental Material
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