Doctor in Physics at Universidad de Santiago de Chile (2010).
My research is focused on wave propagation in granular materiales, motivated the great number of open questions in this field and the importance of the understanding this phenomena, strongly related to sismic wave propagation and buried objects detection in unconsolidated soils
I am also contributing in developing new technics to measure the mechanical properties of thin films. The importance of thin films is given by the increasing number of tecnological applications that can benefit from the design and fabrication of smart coatings with mechanical properties suited for specific tasks.
As a continuation of my doctoral thesis, in wich I studied the wave propagation in one dimensional granular chains, my current work is centered on the study of pulse propagation in a three dimensional granular material submitted to hydrostatic pressure. This problem is related to the propagation of sismic waves in unconsolidated soils. Another interesting problem that will be studied is the detection of buried objects in an unconsolidated granular media, by observing the propagation of a probe pulse.
We have developed a setup based on a box with elastic walls, filled with glass beads. By means of a vacuum pump, we can control the static pressure over the grains and, we use a piezoelectric actuator to initiate a compression pulse from one side of the box. Using a laser vibrometer mounted on a two-axis motorized stage, we obtain a profile of grain's speed in the opposed (or adjacent) side of the box.
Image of the setup, plastic box with elastics membranes as walls. Also, the piezoelctric is fixed to a heavy piece of iron and coupled directly with the beads.
The development of new methods to determine mechanical properties of thin films becomes necesary for today's industrial applications. Many of the personal gadgets that we use in every day life is coated with a strong protective film or uses a thin layer of sensors. For this reason, the mechanical characterization of thin films (up to milimeter thickness) has recently gained great interest. Many of the standar techniques are not suited for this materials, opening new possibilities in developing tests for each specific property.
We are working in colaboration with the Coating Film laboratory to fully characterize the mechanical properties of polymer coatings. Untill now, we have developed several test that allows to measure the Young modulus of the self-supported polymer film, the critical strain, adhesion force to an aluminum substrate and hydrofobicity.
Self-supported polymer film after a tensile test.
(update in progress 6/12/2011)
Fondecyt Postdoc project n° 3120130