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Nanostructured materials are extensively applied in many fields of material science for new industrial applications, particularly in the automotive, aerospace industry due to their exceptional physical and mechanical properties. Experimental testing of nanomaterials is expensive, timeconsuming,challenging and sometimes unfeasible. Therefore,computational simulations have been employed as alternative method to predict macroscopic material properties. The behavior of polymeric nanocomposites (PNCs) are highly complex.
The origins of macroscopic material properties reside in the properties and interactions taking place on finer scales. It is therefore essential to use multiscale modeling strategy to properly account for all large length and time scales associated with these material systems, which across many orders of magnitude. Numerous multiscale models of PNCs have been established, however, most of them connect only two scales. There are a few multiscale models for PNCs bridging four length scales (nano-, micro-, meso- and macro-scales). In addition, nanomaterials are stochastic in nature and the prediction of macroscopic mechanical properties are influenced by many factors such as fine-scale features. The predicted mechanical properties obtained by traditional approaches significantly deviate from the measured values in experiments due to neglecting uncertainty of material features. This discrepancy is indicated that the effective macroscopic properties of materials are highly sensitive to various sources of uncertainty, such as loading and boundary conditions and material characteristics, etc., while very few stochastic multiscale models for PNCs have been developed. Therefore, it is essential to construct PNC models within the framework of stochastic modeling and quantify the stochastic effect of the input parameters on the macroscopic mechanical properties of those materials.
This study aims to develop computational models at four length scales (nano-, micro-, meso- and macro-scales) and hierarchical upscaling approaches bridging length scales from nano- to macro-scales. A framework for uncertainty quantification (UQ) applied to predict the mechanical properties
of the PNCs in dependence of material features at different scales is studied. Sensitivity and uncertainty analysis are of great helps in quantifying the effect of input parameters, considering both main and interaction effects, on the mechanical properties of the PNCs. To achieve this major
goal, the following tasks are carried out:
At nano-scale, molecular dynamics (MD) were used to investigate deformation mechanism of glassy amorphous polyethylene (PE) in dependence of temperature and strain rate. Steered molecular dynamics (SMD)were also employed to investigate interfacial characteristic of the PNCs.
At mico-scale, we developed an atomistic-based continuum model represented by a representative volume element (RVE) in which the SWNT’s properties and the SWNT/polymer interphase are modeled at nano-scale, the surrounding polymer matrix is modeled by solid elements. Then, a two-parameter model was employed at meso-scale. A hierarchical multiscale approach has been developed to obtain the structure-property relations at one length scale and transfer the effect to the higher length
scales. In particular, we homogenized the RVE into an equivalent fiber.
The equivalent fiber was then employed in a micromechanical analysis (i.e. Mori-Tanaka model) to predict the effective macroscopic properties of the PNC. Furthermore, an averaging homogenization process was also used to obtain the effective stiffness of the PCN at meso-scale.
Stochastic modeling and uncertainty quantification consist of the following ingredients:
- Simple random sampling, Latin hypercube sampling, Sobol’ quasirandom sequences, Iman and Conover’s method (inducing correlation in Latin hypercube sampling) are employed to generate independent and dependent sample data, respectively.
- Surrogate models, such as polynomial regression, moving least squares (MLS), hybrid method combining polynomial regression and MLS, Kriging regression, and penalized spline regression, are employed as an approximation of a mechanical model. The advantage of the surrogate models is the high computational efficiency and robust as they can be constructed from a limited amount of available data.
- Global sensitivity analysis (SA) methods, such as variance-based methods for models with independent and dependent input parameters, Fourier-based techniques for performing variance-based methods and partial derivatives, elementary effects in the context of local SA, are used to quantify the effects of input parameters and their interactions on the mechanical properties of the PNCs. A bootstrap technique is used to assess the robustness of the global SA methods with respect to their performance.
In addition, the probability distribution of mechanical properties are determined by using the probability plot method. The upper and lower bounds of the predicted Young’s modulus according to 95 % prediction intervals were provided.
The above-mentioned methods study on the behaviour of intact materials. Novel numerical methods such as a node-based smoothed extended finite element method (NS-XFEM) and an edge-based smoothed phantom node method (ES-Phantom node) were developed for fracture problems. These methods can be used to account for crack at macro-scale for future works. The predicted mechanical properties were validated and verified. They show good agreement with previous experimental and simulations results.

Briefly, the two basic questions that this research is supposed to answer are:
1. Howmuch fiber is needed and how fibers should be distributed through a fiber reinforced composite (FRC) structure in order to obtain the optimal and reliable structural response?
2. How do uncertainties influence the optimization results and reliability of the structure?
Giving answer to the above questions a double stage sequential optimization algorithm for finding the optimal content of short fiber reinforcements and their distribution in the composite structure, considering uncertain design parameters, is presented. In the first stage, the optimal amount of short fibers in a FRC structure with uniformly distributed fibers is conducted in the framework of a Reliability Based Design Optimization (RBDO) problem. Presented model considers material, structural and modeling uncertainties. In the second stage, the fiber distribution optimization (with the aim to further increase in structural reliability) is performed by defining a fiber distribution function through a Non-Uniform Rational BSpline (NURBS) surface. The advantages of using the NURBS surface as a fiber distribution function include: using the same data set for the optimization and analysis; high convergence rate due to the smoothness of the NURBS; mesh independency of the optimal layout; no need for any post processing technique and its non-heuristic nature. The output of stage 1 (the optimal fiber content for homogeneously distributed fibers) is considered as the input of stage 2. The output of stage 2 is the Reliability Index (b ) of the structure with the optimal fiber content and distribution.
First order reliability method (in order to approximate the limit state function) as well as different material models including Rule of Mixtures, Mori-Tanaka, energy-based approach and stochastic multi-scales are implemented in different examples. The proposed combined model is able to capture the role of available uncertainties in FRC structures through a computationally efficient algorithm using all sequential, NURBS and sensitivity based techniques. The methodology is successfully implemented for interfacial shear stress optimization in sandwich beams and also for optimization of the internal cooling channels in a ceramic matrix composite.
Finally, after some changes and modifications by combining Isogeometric Analysis, level set and point wise density mapping techniques, the computational framework is extended for topology optimization of piezoelectric / flexoelectric materials.

Advances in nanotechnology lead to the development of nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) such as nanomechanical resonators with ultra-high resonant frequencies. The ultra-high-frequency resonators have recently received significant attention for wide-ranging applications such as molecular separation, molecular transportation, ultra-high sensitive sensing, high-frequency signal processing, and biological imaging. It is well known that for micrometer length scale, first-principles technique, the most accurate approach, poses serious limitations for comparisons with experimental studies. For such larger size, classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are desirable, which require interatomic potentials. Additionally, a mesoscale method such as the coarse-grained (CG) method is another useful method to support simulations for even larger system sizes.
Furthermore, quasi-two-dimensional (Q2D) materials have attracted intensive research interest due to their many novel properties over the past decades. However, the energy dissipation mechanisms of nanomechanical resonators based on several Q2D materials are still unknown. In this work, the addressed main issues include the development of the CG models for molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), investigation of the mechanism effects on black phosphorus (BP) nanoresonators and the application of graphene nanoresonators. The primary coverage and results of the dissertation are as follows:
Method development. Firstly, a two-dimensional (2D) CG model for single layer MoS2 (SLMoS2) is analytically developed. The Stillinger-Weber (SW) potential for this 2D CG model is further parametrized, in which all SW geometrical parameters are determined analytically according to the equilibrium condition for each individual potential term, while the SW energy parameters are derived analytically based on the valence force field model. Next, the 2D CG model is further simplified to one-dimensional (1D) CG model, which describes the 2D SLMoS2 structure using a 1D chain model. This 1D CG model is applied to investigate the relaxed configuration and the resonant oscillation of the folded SLMoS2. Owning to the simplicity nature of the 1D CG model, the relaxed configuration of the folded SLMoS2 is determined analytically, and the resonant oscillation frequency is derived analytically. Considering the increasing interest in studying the properties of other 2D layered materials, and in particular those in the semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenide class like MoS2, the CG models proposed in current work provide valuable simulation approaches.
Mechanism understanding. Two energy dissipation mechanisms of BP nanoresonators are focused exclusively, i.e. mechanical strain effects and defect effects (including vacancy and oxidation). Vacancy defect is intrinsic damping factor for the quality (Q)-factor, while mechanical strain and oxidation are extrinsic damping factors. Intrinsic dissipation (induced by thermal vibrations) in BP resonators (BPRs) is firstly investigated. Specifically, classical MD simulations are performed to examine the temperature dependence for the Q-factor of the single layer BPR (SLBPR) along the armchair and zigzag directions, where two-step fitting procedure is used to extract the frequency and Q-factor from the kinetic energy time history. The Q-factors of BPRs are evaluated through comparison with those of graphene and MoS2 nanoresonators. Next, effects of mechanical strain, vacancy and oxidation on BP nanoresonators are investigated in turn. Considering the increasing interest in studying the properties of BP, and in particular the lack of theoretical study for the BPRs, the results in current work provide a useful reference.
Application. A novel application for graphene nanoresonators, using them to self-assemble small nanostructures such as water chains, is proposed. All of the underlying physics enabling this phenomenon is elucidated. In particular, by drawing inspiration from macroscale self-assembly using the higher order resonant modes of Chladni plates, classical MD simulations are used to investigate the self-assembly of water molecules using
graphene nanoresonators. An analytic formula for the critical resonant frequency based on the interaction between water molecules and graphene is provided. Furthermore, the properties of the water chains assembled by the graphene nanoresonators are studied.

Identification of flaws in structures is a critical element in the management of maintenance and quality assurance processes in engineering. Nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques based on a wide range of physical principles have been developed and are used in common practice for structural health monitoring. However, basic NDT techniques are usually limited in their ability to provide the accurate information on locations, dimensions and shapes of flaws. One alternative to extract additional information from the results of NDT is to append it with a computational model that provides detailed analysis of the physical process involved and enables the accurate identification of the flaw parameters. The aim here is to develop the strategies to uniquely identify cracks in two-dimensional 2D) structures under dynamic loadings.
A local NDT technique combined eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) with dynamic loading in order to identify the cracks in the structures quickly and accurately is developed in this dissertation. The Newmark-b time integration method with Rayleigh damping is used for the time integration. We apply Nelder-Mead (NM)and Quasi-Newton (QN) methods for identifying the crack tip in plate. The inverse problem is solved iteratively, in which XFEM is used for solving the forward problem in each iteration. For a timeharmonic excitation with a single frequency and a short-duration signal measured along part of the external boundary, the crack is detected through the solution of an inverse time-dependent problem. Compared to the static load, we show that the dynamic loads are more effective for crack detection problems. Moreover, we tested different dynamic loads and find that NM method works more efficient under the harmonic load than the pounding load while the QN method achieves almost the same results for both load types.
A global strategy, Multilevel Coordinate Search (MCS) with XFEM (XFEM-MCS) methodology under the dynamic electric load, to detect multiple cracks in 2D piezoelectric plates is proposed in this dissertation. The Newmark-b method is employed for the time integration and in each iteration the forward problem is solved by XFEM for various cracks. The objective functional is minimized by using a global search algorithm MCS. The test problems show that the XFEM-MCS algorithm under the dynamic electric load can be effectively employed for multiple cracks detection in piezoelectric materials, and it proves to be robust in identifying defects in piezoelectric structures. Fiber-reinforced composites (FRCs) are extensively applied in practical engineering since they have high stiffness and strength. Experiments reveal a so-called interphase zone, i.e. the space between the outside interface of the fiber and the inside interface of the matrix. The interphase strength between the fiber and the matrix strongly affects the mechanical properties as a result of the large ratio of interface/volume. For the purpose of understanding the mechanical properties of FRCs with functionally graded interphase (FGI), a closed-form expression of the interface strength between a fiber and a matrix is obtained in this dissertation using a continuum modeling approach according to the ver derWaals (vdW) forces. Based on the interatomic potential, we develop a new modified nonlinear cohesive law, which is applied to study the interface delamination of FRCs with FGI under different loadings. The analytical solutions show that the delamination behavior strongly depends on the interphase thickness, the fiber radius, the Young’s moduli and Poisson’s ratios of the fiber and the matrix. Thermal conductivity is the property of a material to conduct heat. With the development and deep research of 2D materials, especially graphene and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), the thermal conductivity of 2D materials attracts wide attentions. The thermal conductivity of graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) is found to appear a tendency of decreasing under tensile strain by classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Hence, the strain effects of graphene can play a key role in the continuous tunability and applicability of its thermal conductivity property at nanoscale, and the dissipation of thermal conductivity is an obstacle for the applications of thermal management. Up to now, the thermal conductivity of graphene under shear deformation has not been investigated yet. From a practical point of view, good thermal managements of GNRs have significantly potential applications of future GNR-based thermal nanodevices, which can greatly improve performances of the nanosized devices due to heat dissipations. Meanwhile, graphene is a thin membrane structure, it is also important to understand the wrinkling behavior under shear deformation. MoS2 exists in the stable semiconducting 1H phase (1H-MoS2) while the metallic 1T phase (1T-MoS2) is unstable at ambient conditions. As it’s well known that much attention has been focused on studying the nonlinear optical properties of the 1H-MoS2. In a very recent research, the 1T-type monolayer crystals of TMDCs, MX2 (MoS2, WS2 ...) was reported having an intrinsic in-plane negative Poisson’s ratio. Luckily, nearly at the same time, unprecedented long-term (>3months) air stability of the 1T-MoS2 can be achieved by using the donor lithium hydride (LiH). Therefore, it’s very important to study the thermal conductivity of 1T-MoS2.
The thermal conductivity of graphene under shear strain is systematically studied in this dissertation by MD simulations. The results show that, in contrast to the dramatic decrease of thermal conductivity of graphene under uniaxial tensile, the thermal conductivity of graphene is not sensitive to the shear strain, and the thermal conductivity decreases only 12-16%. The wrinkle evolves when the shear strain is around 5%-10%, but the thermal conductivity barely changes.
The thermal conductivities of single-layer 1H-MoS2(1H-SLMoS2) and single-layer 1T-MoS2 (1T-SLMoS2) with different sample sizes, temperatures and strain rates have been studied systematically in this dissertation. We find that the thermal conductivities of 1H-SLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 in both the armchair and the zigzag directions increase with the increasing of the sample length, while the increase of the width of the sample has minor effect on the thermal conductions of these two structures. The thermal conductivity of 1HSLMoS2 is smaller than that of 1T-SLMoS2 under size effect. Furthermore, the temperature effect results show that the thermal conductivities of both 1H-SLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 decrease with the increasing of the temperature. The thermal conductivities of 1HSLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 are nearly the same (difference <6%) in both of the chiral orientations under corresponding temperatures, especially in the armchair direction (difference <2.8%). Moreover, we find that the strain effects on the thermal conductivity of 1HSLMoS2 and 1T-SLMoS2 are different. More specifically, the thermal conductivity decreases with the increasing tensile strain rate for
1T-SLMoS2, while fluctuates with the growth of the strain for 1HSLMoS2. Finally, we find that the thermal conductivity of same sized 1H-SLMoS2 is similar with that of the strained 1H-SLMoS2 structure.