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

Research Interests

Our graduate student research group currently emphasizes mechanical behavior of small volumes such as nanospheres and failure at bi-material interfaces. Materials of interest have included nanospheres of silicon, SiC and Ti; Si, NiAl and Fe-3wt%Si single crystals; and InGaAs/GaAs, Co/Si, 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 nanospheres. Surfaces undergoing nanoindentation can be imaged by atomic force microscopy directly before and after revealing nanometer scale cavities.


  • 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

  • Strain-Hardening in Sub-micron Pillars and Spheres, (with D. Stauffer, A. Beaber, O. Ugurlu, J. Nowak, A. Wagner, K. Andre Mkhoyan, and S. Girshick), accepted, Acta Materialia 60 (2012) 2471-2478.
  • 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.
  • An Energy-Balance Criterion for Nanoindentation-Induced Single and Multiple Dislocation Events, (with W. M. Mook, W. A. Curtin, R. Mukherjee and S. L. Girshick), J. Appl. Mech. 73, pp. 327-334, (2006)
  • A new Picture of Plasticity, (with William Mook), Nature Materials, pp. 577-578 (August 2005)
  • 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)
  • Phase-Transition Plasticity in Uniaxially Compressed Silicon Nanospheres (with P. Valenti and T. Dumitrica), Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 (2007) 175701-1/4.
  • Brittleto-Ductile Trnsition 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.
  • 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

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