Bill Gerberich

Bill Gerberich

Professor Emeritus
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  • B.S., Engineering Administration, Case Institute of Technology, 1957
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering, Syracuse University, 1959
  • Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, University of California at Berkeley, 1971

Research Areas

Recent News:

Research Interests

Our current foci are collaborating with other research groups currently emphasizing mechanical behavior of small volumes such as spheres, bending beams, nanopillars and thin films undergoing failure. Materials of interest have included nanospheres of silicon and Ti; Si, NiAl and Fe-3wt%Si single crystals; PS/PMMA, DLC/MgO, and Cu/Si thin films. We have recently started initiatives with which to better understand the integrity of materials. One is real-time imaging of nanomechanical and micromechanical processes with AFM, TEM, and FEG-SEM (field emission gun scanning electron microscopy). An example of this is in situ fracture of silicon nanospheres and nanopillars. Such a nanoindentation instrument is in our newest TEM (Tecnai). A second example is nanoindentation induced dislocation emission in ceramic and metallic single crystals, thin films, and fracture of nano-beams in bending using in-situ scanning and ex-situ transmission electron microscopy. Surfaces and nanopillars undergoing nanoindentation or compression can be imaged by AFM and TEM directly before and after revealing nanometer scale physical properties as well.


  • 2017, Inducted into the European Academy of Science
  • 2013, Visiting Professor, ETHZ, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2012, Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • 2009, Fellow of the Materials Society (TMS)
  • 2006, G.E. Distinguished Lecture Series, RPI
  • 2002, Res Mechanica Chair, Leuven, Belgium
  • 1994, Outstanding Paper Award, Acta Metall. et Matercalia
  • 1992, Board of Governors, NSF Inst. for Mech. & Mat'ls., UC San Diego
  • 1994, Chairman, NSF Inst. for Mech. & Mat'ls., UC San Diego
  • 1986, Fellow of the American Society of Metals (ASM)
  • 1986, Chairman of the Board, Acta Metallurgica Publications
  • 1980, Materials Review Board, Argonne National Laboratories

Selected Publications

  • Temperature dependent fracture initiation in microscale silicon, (with E.D Hintsala, S.Bhowmick, X. Yueyue, R. Ballarini, S.A. Syed Asif) Scripta Materialia,130(2017)78-82.
  • In-Situ Measurements of Free Standing, Ultra-thin film Cracking in Bending, (with E. Hintsala, D. Kiener, J. Jackson Experimental Mechanics, 55 (2015) 1681-169.
  • Fracture transitions in iron: Strain rate and environmental effects, (with E. Hintsala, C. Teresi, A. J. Wagner, K. A. Mkhoyan J. of Mater. Res. 29 (2014) 1513-1521.
  • Dislocation Morphology and Nucleation Within Compressed Si Nanospheres (with L.M. Hale, D.B. Zhang, X. Zhou, J.M. Zimmerman, N.R. Moody, T. Dumitrica, and R. Ballarini), Computational Materials Science, 54 (2012) 280-286.
  • A new Picture of Plasticity, (with William Mook), Nature Materials, pp. 577-578 (August 2005)
  • Phase-Transition Plasticity in Uniaxially Compressed Silicon Nanospheres (with P. Valenti and T. Dumitrica), Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 (2007) 175701-1/4.
  • Brittle to-Ductile Transition in Uniaxial Compression of Silicon Pillars at Room Temperature (with F. Oestlund, K. Rzepiejewska-Malyska, K. Liefer, L.M. Hale, Y. Tang, R. Ballarini, and J. Michler), Adv. Functional Materials 19 (2009) 2439-44.
  • From Bulk to Nanoparticles: Deconfining Nanovolume Signals a Shift in Material Properties (with D. Chrobak, N. Tymiak, A. Beaber, O. Ugurlu, and R. Nowak), Nature Nanotechnology 6 (2011) 480-484.
  • In situ deformation of silicon nanospheres, (with Julia Deneen, William M. Mook, Andrew Minor and C. Barry Carter), J. Mater. Sci. 41, pp. 4477-4483, (2006)
  • Interfacial Toughness Measurements of Thin Metal Films (with A.A. Volinsky and N.R. Moody), Acta Mater. 50, 441 (2002).
  • Superhard Silicon Nanospheres (with W.M. Mook, C.R. Perrey, C.B. Carter, M.I. Baskes, R. Mukherjee, A. Gidwani, J. Heberlein, P.H. McMurry, and S.S. Girshick), J. Mech. Phys. Solids 51, 979 (2003).
  • Intepretation of Indentation Size Effects (with N.I. Tymiak, J.C. Grunlan, M.F. Horstemeyer and M.I. Baskes), J. Appl. Mech. 69, 433 (2002).

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0132

P: 612-625-1313 | F: 612-626-7246

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