Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Aerospace Engineering


Engineering Mechanics

First Advisor

Valery I. Levitas


It has been found during the last decade that a nanoscale melting of metal has very distinctive features compared to its microscale counterpart. It has been observed that a highly non-equilibrium state can result in extreme superheating of a solid state, which cannot be explained well by thermodynamic theories based on equilibrium or nucleation. An endeavor to find the superheating limit and mechanisms of melting and superheating becomes more complicated when various physical phenomena are involved at the similar scales. The main goal of this research is to establish a multiphysics model and to reveal the mechanism of melting and kinetic superheating of a metal nanostructure at high heating rates. The model includes elastodynamics, a fast heating of metal considering a delayed heat transfer between electron gas and lattice phonon and couplings among physical phenomena, and phase transformation incorporated with thermal fluctuation. The model successfully reproduces two independent experiments and several novel nanoscale physical phenomena are discovered. For example, the depression of the melting temperature of Al nanolayer under plane stress condition, the threshold heating rate, 10^11 K/s, for kinetic superheating, a large temperature drop in a 5 nm collision region of the two solid-melt interfaces, and a strong effect of geometry on kinetic superheating in Al core-shell nanostructure at high heating rate.

Copyright Owner

Yong Seok Hwang



File Format


File Size

136 pages