Open positions:

  • Ph.D. Project in Physics and Astronomy: Statistical models for plasticity in amorphous solids

    How does an amorphous solid flow? In contrast to crystalline materials, where plastic flow can be ascribed to dislocation motion, our understanding of deformation and flow in disordered matter (glassy metals and polymers, many soft materials such as foams, emulsions, colloidal matter, and assemblies of living cells) is much less developed and still based on very phenomenological models. This project aims to develop a statistical framework for describing yield and plastic deformation in amorphous systems. We use molecular dynamics on the particle scale to investigate the fundamental physics, and attempt to link it quantitatively to mescoscopic methods that coarse-grain the atomistic dynamics into a nonlocal continuum description. The PhD student will develop both methods side by side and apply them to better understand the fundamental nature of the yielding transition in the athermal limit, the role of mechanical noise in activating plastic events, and localization phenomena in confined geometries.

    References:
    Nicolas A, Barrat J-L, Rottler J. "Effects of Inertia on the Steady-Shear Rheology of Disordered Solids." Physical Review Letters. 2016;116:058303.
    Nicolas A, Rottler J, Barrat J-L. "Spatiotemporal correlations between plastic events in the shear flow of athermal amorphous solids." The European Physical Journal E. 2014;37:1-11

  • Ph.D. Project in Physics and Materials Engineering: Interface properties from atomistic simulations

    We seek a PhD student with an interest in computational condensed matter physics. The primary goal of this project will be to use ab-initio methods (Density Functional Theory) based techniques to study the properties of interfaces in complex materials. Of particular interest will be solid/solid interfaces in the form of grain boundaries in ferrous or titanium-based alloys, but other systems may be studied as well. The candidate can build upon and expand on a multiscale QM/MM method recently developed in our group. The project will be jointly supervised by Prof. Joerg Rottler and Prof. Matthias Militzer (Materials Engineering)

    References:
    L. Huber et al, 
    A QM/MM approach for low-symmetry defects in metals, Computational Materials Science 118, 259 (2016)