CEITEC hosted a lecture by the pioneer of Fracture Nanomechanics

6. May 2019

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As part of the CEITEC BUT Seminar Series focused on advanced materials and nanotechnologies recently welcomed a renowned expert in Fracture Nanomechanics professor Takayuki Kitamura from the Kyoto University. In his lecture professor Kitamura introduced the current key challenges in the field of Fracture Nanomechanics. To him it is crucial to understand characteristics and behavior of materials in nanoscale. However, the experiments in these scales are extremely challenging and require not only a neat fabrication and handling but also a combination of analytical methods and innovative approach. 

When one searches the area of Fracture Nanomechanics, the name of Takayuki Kitamura comes up pretty much every time. Even Kitamura admits that he can be called a pioneer in this field. “I started my work and research more than twenty years ago. Back than it was very primitive – both my experimental observation techniques and concepts,” adds professor Kitamura with laugh. Already twenty years ago he expected the boom of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies. “Everyone talked about artificial intelligence (AI). But for AI to work it needs information. And where do you take information? From sensors. We have small chips and sensors everywhere, and we need to know how to control them,” points out Kitamura. 

Since then he and his research group have developed and introduced many interesting concepts and published important findings mostly focused on fracture and deformation of materials at nanoscale. 

The key question they keep asking themselves is “What happens when we take materials and scale them down?” Professor Kitamura says: “When we go smaller and smaller some discreteness comes up. We take the concepts that are applied on larger objects and check their applicability to components in the size of nanometers. Because it is crucial to understand what happens when we scale down and how the behavior changes.”

He points out that his work requires not only different equipment, but more importantly completely different thinking and approach. “We aim at two things. Firstly, we need to prevent fractures. And it is the same when you want to cure some disease. You need to first understand the disease, how it behaves and what it does. Secondly, we try to use deformations and fractures to our advantage,” describes Takayuki Kitamura who actively cooperates with CEITEC BUT and has already visited the Czech Republic several times. “I am always pleased to come back. I really like Brno and I have several good friends at CEITEC,” adds professor Kitamura. 

Author: Zuzana Pospíšilová