Zheng Jia receives Haythornwaite Foundation Travel Award

This travel award will allow him to attend the ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE 2011) to be held in this November in Denver, Colorado. Zheng has also been selected as one of 10-15 nationwide finalists to compete in the ASME Applied Mechanics Division Best Student Paper Contest at IMECE 2011.

At IMECE 2011, Zheng will present his recent research on in situ experiments and mechanics modeling of tensile cracking in indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films on polyimide substrates. ITO thin films supported by polymer substrates have been widely used as transparent electrodes/interconnects in flexible electronics. Understanding the electro-mechanical behaviors of such a material system is crucial for reliable operation of flexible devices under large deformation. This research systematically investigates tensile crack initiation and propagation, crack density evolution, and the corresponding electrical resistance variation. One unique contribution of this research is that by integrating in situ tests inside a scanning electron microscope with a coherently formulated mechanics model, some crucial but previously hard-to-measure materials properties, such as the cohesive toughness and fracture strength of ITO thin films and ITO/polyimide interfacial toughness, can be quantitatively determined. This research, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is the product of collaboration with an experimental group at Rice University.

This is the second time that one of Li's Ph.D. students has won the Haythornthwaite Award. Zhao Zhang won the award in 2009 for his research on the extrinsic morphology of graphene. In 2008, Daniel P. Cole (Ph.D. 2009) in Prof. Hugh Bruck's group also received the award for his research on shape memory alloy films. The Haythornthwaite Travel Award is funded by the Robert M. and Mary Haythornthwaite Foundation, which supports scientific research, primarily in the fields of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Published October 21, 2011