Shear-induced failure in jammed nanoparticle assemblies

Ishan Srivastava, Kyle C. Smith, Timothy S. Fisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The state of stress during the bottom-up assembly of nanoparticles strongly correlates with the microstructure of dense nanoparticle aggregates therein. A range of interaction length scales exists in these dry granular systems spanning from particle-scale elastic repulsion to aggregate van der Waals cohesion; the competition among these interactions dominates athermal microstructural evolution under applied stress. In this work, structural optimization is employed to simulate the nano-mechanical physics of athermal densification and jamming. The translational and rotational motions of nanoparticles are optimized to static equilibrium. An initially sparse and random configuration of particles is compacted into a mechanically stable (i.e., jammed) state by densifying the system under various external-loading paths (e.g., hydrostatic, uniaxial, and shear). The resultant jammed structures and their responses to shear exhibit strong correlation with the strength of interactions in addition to particle shape [see Smith et al., Phys. Rev. E, 82, 051304 (2011)]. The structural information, such as particleparticle contact types and pore geometry of the heterogeneous media in these densified systems will aid in understanding energy transport for functional applications such as thermoelectric elements and battery electrodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPowders and Grains 2013 - Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media: Powders and Grains 2013 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: Jul 8 2013Jul 12 2013

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other7th International Conference on Micromechanics of Granular Media: Powders and Grains 2013
CitySydney, NSW


  • Assembly
  • Faceted Particles
  • Jamming
  • Nanoparticles
  • Shear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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