Mechanical Properties of Soft Materials

Soft materials have gained attention in many research and industrial fields. For example, kinds of hydrogels have been developed to provide the mechanical environments favorable for culturing cells. Wearable or foldable electronic devices require conducting materials with an excellent flexibility. We characterize the mechanical properties of soft materials in terms of elasticity, plasticity, and viscosity using various techniques such as rheometry, AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy), nano-indentation, magnetic tweezers, and optical tweezers. Not only the properties of themselves but also interaction between soft materials are characterized in our group. Followings are soft materials of our interest.

Featured images and movies of this topic

Measurement techniques for mechanical properties of soft materials

Movie of the deformation of polymer sphere by the indentation device (Reference: Chang S, Kim M, Oh S, Min JH, Kang D, Han C, Ahn T, Koh WG, Lee H. Multi-scale characterization of surface-crosslinked superabsorbent polymer hydrogel spheres. Polymer, Vol. 145, No. 6, P. 174-83, 2018)

Movie of the simulation of the indentation test

Schematic of the distribution of bending stress in a two-layer film (Reference: Kim RH, Kim HJ, Bae I, Hwang SK, Velusamy DB, Cho SM, Takaishi K, Muto T, Hashizume D, Uchiyama M, André P, Mathevet F, Heinrich B, Aoyama T, Kim DE, Lee H, Ribierre JC, Park C. Non-volatile organic memory with sub-millimetre bending radius. Nature Communications, Vol. 5, P. 3583, 2014)

Schematic of the scratch test for the multi-layered film substrate