Michael J. Demkowicz




Michael Demkowicz studies the fundamental processes by which solids change their atomic structure when driven far from equilibrium, e.g. when plastically deformed, bombardment by energetic ions, shocked, or exposed to environmental extremes like rapidly varying temperatures and pressures. Understanding how materials respond to these external stimuli can be used to create strategies for designing materials with desired properties from the atomic scale up.

Prof. Demkowicz’s recent work has focused on nanocomposites under intense irradiation. Traditional structural materials degrade and fail under these conditions, but certain nanocomposites contain high volume fractions of “super sink” interfaces that allow them to self-heal. By understanding how radiation damage is trapped and removed at such interfaces, Prof. Demkowicz aims to enable the design of a new class of radiation-tolerant materials that would make future nuclear reactors maximally safe, sustainable, and efficient.

Another avenue of research pursued by Prof. Demkowicz is in understanding the mechanical and transport properties of glasses. This class of materials differs fundamentally from crystalline solids in that it possesses no long-range lattice periodicity. The behavior of glasses therefore not only poses a challenge to our current understanding of materials, but also offers opportunities for creating new materials that circumvent the drawbacks of traditional ones at the atomic level.

Areas of current interest for Prof. Demkowicz also include shock physics, nanoscale cellular materials (open and closed cell nanofoams), response of interfaces to severe plastic deformation, and the behavior of materials in extreme environments.

Selected Publications

"Interface Structure and Radiation Damage Resistance in Cu-Nb Multilayer Nanocomposites," M. J. Demkowicz, R. G. Hoagland, J. P. Hirth, Phys. Rev. Lett. 100 (2008) 136102.

"Interfaces between dissimilar crystalline solids," M. J. Demkowicz, J. Wang, R. G. Hoagland, in Dislocations in Solids, Vol. 14 (J. P. Hirth, ed.), Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2008, p. 141.

"The Radiation Damage Tolerance of Ultra-High Strength Nanolayered Composites," A. Misra, M. J. Demkowicz, X. Zhang, R. G. Hoagland, JOM 59 (2007) 62.

"Simulation of plasticity in nanocrystalline silicon," M. J. Demkowicz, A. S. Argon, D. Farkas, M. Frary, Phil. Mag. 87 (2007) 4253.

"Autocatalytic avalanches of unit inelastic shearing events are the mechanism of plastic deformation in amorphous silicon," M. J. Demkowicz, A. S. Argon, Phys. Rev. B 72 (2005) 245206.

"Liquidlike atomic environments act as plasticity carriers in amorphous silicon," M. J. Demkowicz, A. S. Argon, Phys. Rev. B 72 (2005) 245205.

"High-density liquidlike component facilitates plastic flow in a model amorphous silicon system," M. J. Demkowicz, A. S. Argon, Phys. Rev. Lett. 93 (2004) 025505.

Related News

New discovery may lead to self-healing materials
An unexpected result shows that in some cases, pulling apart makes cracks in metal fuse together.
October 9, 2013
Prof. Demkowicz to receive TMS Early Career Faculty Fellow Award
At the TMS Spring Meeting in Orlando, Prof.
November 2, 2011
BP announced research plans with MIT and University of Manchester
BP is supporting a new program on materials and corrosion research, as it applies to oilfield applications.
February 10, 2010

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