Major equipment and capabilities for the Boechler Research Group include:
We utilize self-assembly techniques for the fabrication of large area materials with micro- to nanoscale structural features. As shown in the case of metamaterials and phononic crystals, materials with designed micro- and nanostructures can present new functionalities and highly desirable properties. However, in many cases, applications require that these materials be used in large quantities and areas. This often becomes impractical using conventional and point-by-point (top-down) manufacturing techniques. An alternate approach is to let the materials build themselves, or self-assemble in a bottom-up approach. We utilize a hybrid approach, combining self-assembly techniques with top-down micro- and nanofabrication techniques to enable our novel materials.
Laser ultrasonic characterization
Photoacoustic techniques use lasers to generate and measure mechanical waves at very high frequencies (hundreds of MHz and above) and resolution (sub-angstrom). We are currently constructing photoacoustic experimental setups to study high frequency acoustic wave propagation in micro- to nanoscale granular materials and acoustic metamaterials.
Our current setups include:
• Laser-induced transient grating spectroscopy
• Scanned photo-deflection surface acoustic wave characterization
• Grating interferometry
• Laser-induced shock
• Laser-generated hypervelocity microparticle ballistic impact
Our lab has multiple 3D printers that utilize different manufacturing methods, which enable rapid prototyping with a broad array of constituent materials. We also have access to the MAE rapid prototyping center for high resolution printing.
Mechanical and dynamic testing
In addition to the laser ultrasonic testing capabilities, our lab has an array of mechanical and dynamic testing capabilities for lower frequency (<100 kHz) scenarios that span a large energy range. This includes mechanical testing via an MTS 50 kN load frame; piezoelectric and electrodynamic shaker setups, with accelerometer and force transducer measurement; 1 Mfps color high speed video, dynamic laser distance measurement (Keyence); multiple spring loaded drop towers (<20 m/s impact speeds), and multiple Split-Hopkinson pressure bars and a ~1 km/s gas gun (the latter currently under rehabilitation).