Joost J. Vlassak

Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Materials Engineering


Burgerlijk Ingenieur, 1989, Metallurgical Engineering, University of Leuven
M.S., 1990, Materials Science, Stanford University
Ph.D., 1994, Materials Science, Stanford University

Academic Interests

Materials Engineering

Professor Vlassak studies the mechanical behavior of a broad range of engineering materials. He has developed experimental methods to characterize plastic deformation in thin films and coatings, elastic anisotropy in indentation, and fracture of coatings. Current experimental research projects focus on the mechanical degradation of the electrodes in lithium ion batteries as a result of lithium insertion, on the swelling and fracture of hydrogels, on the effects of microstructural length scales on the mechanical behavior of thin metal films, and on the effect of chemical species on the adhesion and delamination of multilayered structures containing low-k dielectrics. Recently, Professor Vlassak pioneered the use of combinatorial nanocalorimetry for the development and analysis of complex materials systems, including metallic glasses, ultra-high temperature ceramics, and high-temperature shape memory alloys.

Theoretical work includes a new model for chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) based on contact mechanics, channel cracking in films on substrates of finite thickness, and various analyses of the effects of substrate properties and film porosity on nanoindentation of thin films.

Research Projects

Impact of a bearing on a thin sheet of hydrogel: