RECINTO UNIVERSITARIO MAYAGUEZ
In this nanotechnology-driven era, having the capability to undernstand the materials mechanical behavior at the nanometer-scale is not only ideal, but required. Nanoindentation is a state-of-the-art technique used for such characterization and therefore, in order to support a number of ongoing materials research initiatives at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM), the proposed project seeks to acquire a Nano Indenter G200 system. The instrument solicited will be the first-ever nanoindentation unit to be available in Puerto Rico. The acquisition of this system will enable the proposed interdisciplinary team to assess the integration capability of newly-developed polymer- and metal-based nanocomposite materials into electronic devices, construe the actual mechanisms involved in the degradation and aging of glass-fiber reinforced polymers, evaluate tribo-mechanical properties of high-wear strength aluminum matrix composites, define the fundamental materials mechanical requirements for nanoimprint lithography, and characterize the mechanical properties of intermetallic compounds in Pb-free soldering systems. VO2 thin films, nanostructured membranes, and oxide nanoscaffolds. The broader impact of the requested nanoindentation system hinges in the improved infrastructure and/or state-of-the-art equipment that will available for research and training activities of a large number of Hispanic graduate and undergraduate students in a variety of science and engineering fields at UPRM, as well as on the reinforcement of ongoing research collaborations with other institutions.