When 10:15 AM - 11:30 AM Apr 28, 2023
Where 1013 HH Dow
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Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "How Materials Science and Engineering at Michigan has Made a Difference in Semiconductors, Membranes, and Ballistics"


Christopher L. Soles
National Institute of Standards & Technology

As an alumnus of both the Materials Science and Engineering Department (BSE, 1993; Ph D 1998) and the Mechanical Engineering Department (BSE, 1993), one could (and should) conclude that my blood runs Blue.  The training that I received at Michigan, and the connections I established on this campus, formed and incredibly solid foundation for me to establish my independent research career at NIST.  In this presentation I will provide specific examples of how this foundation was instrumental for significant achievements in not only my personal research career, but also NIST and the Nation.  I will briefly highlight how this Michigan network contributed in a substantial way to the semiconductor industry through the development of advanced low-K dielectric insulators for semiconductor interconnects as well as improving the next generation lithographic patterning techniques for semiconductor fabrications.  In the remainder of my talk, I will go in more depth on two technical vignettes from my current research portfolio that have strong roots in my thesis work at Michigan.  Both vignettes rely heavily on the inelastic and quasielastic neutron scattering techniques available at the NIST Center for Neutron Research.  In the first vignette, I will explore the complicated the structure, dynamics and property relationships that govern the transport of water or small molecules through polymeric membranes.  I will present quantitative measurements that can be used to elucidate design cues that improve membrane performance.  In the second vignette, I will re-examine the origins of toughness in polymer glasses.  I will specifically show how fast polymer relaxations, in the ns to ps time frame, seem to be a critical characteristic of a tough polymer glass, especially at ballistic rates of deformation.  I will finally introduce an innovative new methodology to quantify ballistic resistance at the micro-scale and discuss its implications for macroscale testing.