Universal features in disordered solids: Implications for directed aging and the creation of non-linear metamaterials

TYPECondensed Matter Seminar
Speaker:Daniel Hexner
Affiliation:University of Chicago
Time:14:30 - 15:30
Location:Lidow Nathan Rosen (300)

The most obvious and distinctive feature of an amorphous solid is its heterogeneous microscopic structure.  A central issue is how such disorder governs the elastic properties of an amorphous solid so that it has different behavior from its crystalline counterpart.  I will show how such disorder on the microscale determines the elastic properties on long length scales.  This theoretical approach ultimately allows us to control a material’s elastic properties and to understand how a material ages and stores memories. 

I start by studying the change in an amorphous solid’s elastic properties upon the removal of a single bond.  I show that the change in moduli, which has a broad and universal shape, is uncorrelated for different imposed strains. Thus, by selectively removing a small number of bonds, the precise global and local elastic behavior of the solid can be controlled.  This in turn suggests that small changes in bond properties, which occur naturally as a solid ages, can dramatically alter the solid’s elastic response; the history of imposed strains is encoded in the non-linear response and the aging process, usually considered to be detrimental, can be harnessed to design materials with novel desired properties.