Multifunctional Composites: Optimizing Microstructures for Simultaneous Transport of Heat and Electricity

S. Torquato, S. Hyun, A. Donev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

181 Scopus citations

Abstract

Composite materials are ideally suited to achieve multifunctionality since the best features of different materials can be combined to form a new material that has a broad spectrum of desired properties. Nature’s ultimate multifunctional composites are biological materials. There are presently no simple examples that rigorously demonstrate the effect of competing property demands on composite microstructures. To illustrate the fascinating types of microstructures that can arise in multifunctional optimization, we maximize the simultaneous transport of heat and electricity in three-dimensional, two-phase composites using rigorous optimization techniques. Interestingly, we discover that the optimal three-dimensional structures are bicontinuous triply periodic minimal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume89
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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