Elastic strain engineering offers a new approach in the search for high performance materials for electronic, optical and magnetic devices, energy conversion and storage, catalysis, sensing and separation technologies. Large elastic strains can be generated in small structures, for example by epitaxy in thin films and in core-shell nanoparticles, or by static or dynamical external loading of nanowires, nanotubes and atomic sheets, because these structures can retain large stresses at their bonds without inelastic relaxation. By applying and controlling stresses within known materials, dramatically different properties can be obtained, beyond the traditional parameter space of composition and structure in optimizing the material functionality.
This symposium aims to address the fundamental, theoretical and technological aspects of elastic strain engineering (ESE) in a broad range of materials. ESE concept is inherently multidisciplinary, although traditionally the effects of strain on different classes of materials have been studied by different communities, for example in semiconductors, catalysts, multiferroic oxides, polymers, and two-dimensional materials. The well-attended ESE symposium in 2013 Fall MRS Meeting, followed by the Feb. 2014 MRS Bulletin special issue on ESE is a testimony to the rapidly growing interest and activity in this research field. This symposium, as second in a planned series, will bring together researchers working on making elastically strained materials, and measuring and modeling the effects of elastic strain on different properties of materials across disciplines. The themes will include applying and quantifying local and global strains (coherency strains, in situ and dynamic modulation of strain by nanomechanical techniques, high resolution electron microscopy or x-ray diffraction and strain mapping), characterizing and predicting (from ab initio to continuum scale) the electronic, photonic, phononic, catalytic and transport properties, designing directional properties based on anisotropic strains, and retaining large elastic strains over long times under cyclic conditions. The growth opportunities for ESE will also be discussed and addressed.