Department Seminar with Michael Bartlett

Date(s) - 24 Jan 2019
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

2155 Marston Hall

Michael BartlettSpeaker: Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University

Title: Soft Materials for Unconventional Electronics and Machines

Abstract: Multifunctional soft materials create intriguing new opportunities to enhance performance and enable innovative designs. I will discuss two examples of this approach, one that utilizes material composition through liquid-solid hybrid composites for soft machines and deformable electronics and another inspired by kirigami, the art of paper cutting, where material structures are manipulated to create materials with tunable functionality. For hybrid composites, I will present an all-soft matter approach that combines soft elastomers with dispersions of liquid-phase eutectic Ga-In (EGaIn) metal alloy microdroplets. Experimental and theoretical investigations show that liquid metal droplets incorporated into elastomers enables exceptional combinations of soft elasticity and electrical and thermal properties with extreme toughness, autonomously self-healing circuits, and mechanically triggered stiffness tuning. For kirigami, I will present a framework for designing materials with highly tunable mechanical and adhesive properties. This is demonstrated with hybrid cut architectures to create highly tunable mechanical properties, stretchable conductors, and rapid magnetoactive soft actuators which elongate to 330 % strain in ~0.1 s. Furthermore, by incorporating kirigami-inspired structures at interfaces, we can enhance adhesive force by a factor of ∼100 across a spatially patterned sheet while tuning adhesion in different directions for high capacity yet easy release interfaces. These approaches provide model systems to study fundamental material properties while enabling electronic skins, soft robots, and ‘smart’ adhesives for a variety of soft matter systems

Bio: Michael Bartlett is an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. His research lies at the intersection of soft materials, mechanics, and multifunctional composites where he investigates and creates soft materials with highly controllable mechanical and functional properties for deformable electronics and soft robotics, adaptive materials, and ‘smart’ adhesives. He received his BSE in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2008 and completed his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2013 studying bio-inspired adhesion. After obtaining his Ph.D. he worked as a Senior Research Engineer in the Corporate Research Laboratory at 3M and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University before joining Iowa State in 2016. His research has resulted in publications, patents, media coverage through outlets such as the Discovery Channel, and awards including a DARPA Young Faculty Award, a 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Iowa State Engineering Student Council (student nominated). More at:

MSE Seminar Host: Steve Martin

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