Project Details


The research objective of this Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award is to establish a fundamental understanding of the mechanics and mathematics that dictates the physical behaviors of multiferroic crystals and composites, to predict and optimize the performance of existing and new multiferroic devices, and to validate the theoretical predictions and designs by experiments. By the method of Gamma convergence and homogenization analysis, the theoretical approach starts from the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, electrodynamics, frame indifference and material symmetries toward a hierarchy of self-consistent nonlinear theories for multiferroic bodies in a variety of physical and geometric limits. Based on the finite element method and multi-level-set gradient method, the numerical approach furnishes computational models and algorithms for predicting and optimizing desired properties of multiferroic materials. Through a collaborative program, the experimental approach provides validation of the predicted properties and optimal designs of multiferroic composites. Multiferroic materials can be stimulated by and respond to external magnetic, electric and elastic fields, serve multiple functions, and are broadly used in multi-actuating and multi-sensing systems. The integrated theoretical, numerical and experimental strategy will facilitate the engineering of multiferroic structures and composites with improved functionalities and stimulate the discovery of novel multiferroic materials. These progresses will offer new opportunities in areas of smart materials and intelligent systems. Collaborations with industrial partners will ensure the potential technology transfer. Broader social impact will be achieved by educational and outreach efforts that are closely tied to the research, including research opportunities for under-represented groups, high-school visits, a textbook on elasticity with modern applications in biomechanics and nanomaterials, an interactive visualization demonstrations project on multifunctional materials and optimal designs to enhance students' interest and learning experience, and dissemination of research findings in conferences and public seminars.
Effective start/end date9/1/148/31/19


  • National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))


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