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Professor Nicola M. Pugno - Nanomechanics of The Fantastic 4

Date: Mon 29 Oct 2012, 15:00 - 16:00

Location: Nanoforce Seminar Room

Nanomechanics of The Fantastic 4: Graphene (the strongest), spider silk (the toughest), gecko foot (the most adhesive) and lotus leaf (the most anti-adhesive)

Prof. Nicola M. Pugno
Laboratory of Bio-Inspired Nanomechanics, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino, Italy;
website: >

In this talk, at the Queen Mary University, we will present our recent results on the fracture and adhesion of 4 super-nanomaterials:
(i) Graphene, that is the strongest, for which we will briefly discuss the role of defects on the fracture strength by applying our Quantized Fracture Mechanics [1-3] and the role of adhesion on Nanoscrolls [4, 5]; we will also consider collapsed nanotubes cables [6].
(ii) Spider silk, that is the toughest, for which we will discuss the mechanics, including the flaw tolerance, and the related implications on the entire web [7, 8].
(iii) Gecko foot, that is the most adhesive, for which we will discuss the crucial role of the new theory of multiple peeling [9] for understanding the smart adhesion.
(iv) Lotus leaf, the is the most anti-adhesive, for which we will discuss the crucial role of the hierarchical topology [10] in order to activate fakir drops and thus a super-hydrophobic behavior.

[1] N. Pugno, A quantized Griffith's criterion, Fracture Nanomechanics, Meeting of the Italian Group of Fracture, September 25-26, 2002, Vigevano, Italy.
[2] N. Pugno, R. Ruoff, Quantized Fracture Mechanics, PHILOSOPHICAL MAGAZINE (2004), 84/27, 2829-2845.
[3] N. Pugno, Dynamic Quantized Fracture Mechanics. INT. J. OF FRACTURE (2006), 140, 159-168.
[4] X. Shi, Y. Cheng, N. Pugno, H. Gao, A translational nanoactuator based on carbon nanoscrolls on substrates. APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS (2010), 96, 053115.
[5] X. Shi, Y. Cheng, N. Pugno, H. Gao, Tunable water channels with carbon nanoscrolls. SMALL (2010), 6, 739-744.
[6] N. Pugno, The design of self-collapsed super-strong nanotube bundles. J.
[7] T. Giesa, M. Arslan, N. M. Pugno, M. J. Buehler, Nanoconfinement of spider silk fibrils begets superior strength, extensibility and toughness. NANO LETTERS (2011), 11, 5038-5046.
[8] S.W. Cranford, A. Tarakanova, N. Pugno, M.J. Buehler, Nonlinear material behaviour of spider silk yields robust webs, NATURE (2011), 482, 72-78.
[9] N. Pugno, The theory of multiple peeling. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FRACTURE (2011), Issue on Nanoscale Fracture, Guest Editor Nicola M. Pugno (2011), 171, 185-193 [10] N. Pugno, Mimicking lotus leaves for designing super-hydrophobic/hydrophilic and super-attractive/repulsive hierarchical nanostructured surfaces. THE NANOMECHANICS IN ITALY, Editor Nicola M. Pugno, 1-9, 2007. ISBN: 978-81-308-0237-4.

Contact:Prof Ton Peijs

Updated by: Jonathon Hills