This project is supported through a Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI), and administered by the Army Research Office (ARO)
Program Manager: John Prater

Principal Investigator: Kaushik Bhattacharya
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This project is based on the premise that comprehensive and fundamental materials modeling validated by selected experiments can be used as an engineering tool for the development of new materials and devices. The project will use the development of multifunctional miniaturized ferroelectric devices as a test-bed for this concept.

Ferroelectric materials can be used as sensors, actuators and also in electronics, and thus provide a versatile base to build multifunctional devices. The project will follow an ambitious approach to the development of novel microactuators, and their integration into multifunctional devices. This raises significant challenges in design, processing, prototyping, and fabrication, and addressing them empirically can take many years or decades.

This project will pursue a different approach where fundamental, validated models and computation play an essential role in each step of the development. It aims to develop a hierarchy of integrated models of materials and processes beginning from quantum mechanics and reaching to reactor and device scales, and test the predictions against carefully chosen experiments.

The validated models will then be used to guide materials development and processing, and device design and fabrication. This approach allows one to explore many more materials and compositions than can ever be synthesized, to probe many different regions of process-parameter space, to use real-time controls for complex processing steps and intelligently design and analyze prototypes. In essence, it replaces time-consuming empirical optimization of material, processing and design with a hybrid simulation and validation process.

The project will also develop a collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.