PMI/PCCM SEMINAR SERIES SPRING 2023: Carmel Majidi, Carnegie Mellon University

Mar 22, 2023, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
Bowen Hall Auditorium 222


Event Description

Liquid Metal Elastomer Composites for Soft Machines & Electronics

Abstract: Nature teaches us that soft materials and fluids can be integrated to create highly robust systems that are capable of an extraordinary combination of intrinsic functionalities – from sensing and actuation to self-healing, enery storage, and intelligence.  Engineering artificial skin, nervous tissue, and muscle with a similar range of "embodied" properties requires exploration of new ways to pattern and integrate various classes of soft matter into cohesive multifunctional systems.  In this talk, I will present several new techniques to create soft multifunctional materials that exhibit embodied sensing, actuation, and energy harvesting properties.  These methods include progress in the development of novel material architectures that contain some combination of the following: liquid crystal elastomer (LCE), eutectic gallium indium (EGaIn) liquid metal alloy, and a variety of soft elastomers.  I will begin by describing efforts to use EGaIn to tailor the electrical properties of soft elastomers in order to create highly stretchable electronics.  This includes mechanically robust circuity that can remain electrically functional even when damaged by tearing or puncture.  Next, I will present recent work on embedding percolating networks of EGaIn microdroplets within LCE to create an elastomer composite that functions like a “soft machine” capable of sensing, self-healing, shape morphing, and dynamic response to mechanical damage.  Lastly, I will describe efforts to create integrated soft material systems with LM-embedded elastomers that harvest energy from heat and mechanical motion. 

Bio: Carmel Majidi is the Clarence H. Adamson Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where he leads the Soft Machines Lab. His research is focused on the development of new classes of soft multifunctional materials for stretchable electronics, sensing, and muscle-like actuation.  The purpose of these novel materials is to serve as building blocks for next generation wearable computing systems and bio-inspired machines that intrinsically match the mechanical properties of natural biological tissue.  Prof. Majidi has received Young Investigator awards from DARPA, ONR, AFOSR, and NASA all for work related to soft-matter robotics and engineering.  Prior to joining the faculty at CMU, he had postdoctoral appointments at PRISM and Harvard University and received his PhD from UC Berkeley.

All seminars are held on Wednesdays from 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m. in the Bowen Hall Auditorium Room 222. A light lunch is provided at 11:30 a.m. in the Bowen Hall Atrium immediately prior to the seminar.