The Laser Materials Processing Lab at the University of Iowa pursues research on the advancement of material processing technology and sciences. Our current research thrusts:
- High throughput nanostructuring for superhydrophobic or superwicking surfaces
- Laser processing of tunable THz metamaterials
- Development of new materials processing technologies including additive manufacturing, joining or machining via lasers, ultrasonics & friction stir processes
- Data-driven modeling and simulations of materials processing & microstructures
The lab is directed by Prof. Hongtao Ding.
- June 2022 - Steven Tian joins the group as an undergraduate summer research intern. Steven is a rising sophomore studying mechanical engineering from Columbia University. His research interests include novel surface engineering and manufacturing techniques and airframe icing. In his free time, he enjoys photography, tennis, piano, and DIY projects.
- July 2021 - Despite their excellent strength-to-weight ratio, wider use of magnesium (Mg) alloys for light-weight applications is limited by their poor corrosion resistance, especially in chloride-containing environments. The present study shows improved corrosion resistance imparted by nanosecond laser surface processing of a commercial AZ31 (Mg-3Al-1Zn) alloy. Electrochemical studies and salt spray testing (ASTM B117) indicate substantial enhancement of corrosion resistance. This research is from an ongoing collaborative effort with Drs. S. Jana and A. Rohatgi at PNNL. The work is published in Corrosion Science.
- June 2021 - An abiding goal in electrochemical energy storage and electrosynthetic systems is to design stable electrocatalysts that offer good control over chemical reactivity and product selectivity. Traditionally this has been accomplished by controlling the electronic structure of the electrocatalyst surface by defect engineering, alloying, or doping. Recently, we developed a novel laser surface engineering method for electrocatalyst surfaces to control the activity and selectivity of chemical transformations involved. This research is from an ongoing collaborative effort with Mubeen’s group. The work is published in Chemical Communications by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- June 2021 - Avik Samanta has joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) as a Postdoctoral researcher in June 2021. Best wishes to your research career!
- Mar. 2021 - Martell Bell receives the Lulu Merle Johnson Fellowship for the fall 2021 semester. The fellowship is named in honor of Lulu Merle Johnson, Ph.D., the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Iowa and in the state of Iowa (1941). She was also among the first African American women to earn a Ph.D. in history in the United States. This award is very prestigious and carries funding for five years. Congratulations to Martell! Martell is the Graduate Advisor for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) council and an associate of the Center for the integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL).
- Jan. 2021 - Ben Nelson has joined the group as a new PhD student. Ben earned his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University. He has worked in both industry manufacturing environments and R&D. He is currently the Senior Research Engineer at the Quad City Manufacturing Lab.
- Jan. 2021 - Our group and Benxin Wu research lab at Purdue University have codeveloped a new Ultrasonic Impact-assisted Laser Metal Deposition process. The research demonstrates a in situ surface enhancement to reduce porosity defects for 3D metal printing processes. It is published by ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering and can be read from this Link.
- December 2020 - Ultrasonic metal welding has been widely applied as a high throughput solid-state joining technology for multilayers of sheet metal. There is a great challenge in modeling and simulating the whole ultrasonic welding process using knurl-patterned tools. Our group has collaborated with the team led by Dr. Wayne Cai at GM R&D and developed high-fidelity and computationally efficient finite element models to simulate the multilayer UMW process. These models are the most comprehensive solution to date and help provide engineering guidance for the design of UMW applications. Read the paper here through this link.
- October 2020 - Our recent project on droplet surface drying has been featured by Iowa Technology Institute (ITI). The seed grant we received from ITI helped bolster the study on the virus survivability on surfaces under different environmental conditions. See Martell and Avik conducting surface processing experiments, by courtesy of Professor Ching-Long Lin.
- June 2020 - Group alumnus, Qinghua Wang (PhD, 2020) joins the Southeast University, Nanjing, China as an Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering. Congratulations and good luck for your academic career!
- June 2020 - Martell Bell is joining our group for his graduate study! Martell earned his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the UI and received the 2019 Outstanding Senior Award (see photo below with Dean Scranton). He taught the Manufacturing Processes laboratory when he was a undergraduate teaching assistant. Martell established the Iowa Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). The mission of NSBE is to increase the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact their community.
- June 2020 - Congratulations to our very own ME 2020 Graduate, Michael Ojemudia who was selected to play for the Denver Broncos in the 2020 NFL Draft! Michael graduated with his BSE in Mechanical Engineering! We know you will do big things in your future career and we cannot wait to be cheering on the Broncos in the next upcoming seasons! Photo credit: the Daily Iowan.
- June 2020 - Prof. Ding joins the editorial board of Journal of Manufacturing Processes as Associate Editor.
Journal of Manufacturing Processes is to exchange current and future directions of manufacturing processes research, development and implementation, and to publish archival scholarly literature with a view to advancing state-of-the-art manufacturing processes and encouraging innovation for developing new and efficient processes. It is an official journal of SME, in cooperation with the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI/SME).
- June 2020 - Undergraduate researcher Songwei Li graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering in Spring 2020. He is also named on the 2020 Spring UI President's List. Congratulations! Songwei worked on Laser Metasurface Fabrication for Highly Flexible Optoelectronic Devices.
- May 2020 - Prof. Ding joins the editorial board of Manufacturing Letters as Associate Editor.
Manufacturing Letters is an online, rapid-publication journal providing a home for short, high-quality papers from the international academic and industry community on important advances from all interdisciplinary research areas impacting manufacturing. It is an official journal of SME, in cooperation with the North American Manufacturing Research Institution of SME (NAMRI/SME).
- May 2020 - Avik Samanta successfully defended his PhD thesis in Spring 2020. Congratulations! Thesis title: "Surface Nanostructuring Principles and Design of Extreme Wetting Treatment for Laser Textured Metal Alloys.”
- April 2020 - The Daily Iowan reports our research on droplet surface drying process and coronavirus survivability on surfaces.
Read the article from here.
- April 2020 - Our review paper entitled “Roles of chemistry modification for laser textured metal alloys to achieve extreme surface wetting behaviors” is published at Materials & Design.
Laser surface texturing/processing to achieve extreme wetting conditions of metals and alloys attracts considerable attention as the laser technologies advance at a rapid rate in the last decade. Although the wetting behavior of a laser textured metal surface is a complex combination of surface chemistry and surface topography, most of the existing literature only explore the generation of physical topographical changes, i.e., micro-/nano-scale surface structures by lasers. A significant knowledge gap exists in the current literature on the role of surface chemistry on those laser-textured surface structures. This review article will provide a systematic understanding of the interdependence of surface chemistry modification and surface structures during the laser-based surface engineering methods. Our review article is, as a matter of fact, a very first review work to systematically discuss the role of surface chemistry and the methods for surface chemistry modification for laser surface texturing of metals. It provides a guideline for the design of laser texturing methods and fabrication of extreme wetting surfaces for metal alloys.
- April 2020 - We receive NSF RAPID grant for research related to COVID-19!
Professors Udaykumar and Ding have received a $200k, 1-year grant from NSF to study how droplets containing viruses dry on solid surfaces. SARS-CoV-2 spreads primarily by inhaling viruses suspended in aerosol form or by touching surfaces on which virus-laden droplets have deposited. This work will deliver knowledge to answer this question: how does the survivability of viruses inside droplets depend on surfaces and across seasons? This project will address survivability of viruses inside droplets and its relationship to droplet size, type of surface and ambient conditions representing seasonal variations. By bringing together engineers and biomedical scientists with expertise in viral infections, the project will seek new insights and knowledge to improve our ability to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2.
- March 2020 - Our recent paper entitled “Design of Chemical Surface Treatment for Laser Textured Metal Alloy to Achieve Extreme Wetting Behavior” is published at the ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
Fundamentally, extreme wettability of metal alloys depends on both surface structure and surface chemistry. However, compared with the generation of physical topology on the surface, the role of surface chemistry is less explored for the laser texturing processes of metal alloys to tune the wettability. This work introduces a systematic design approach to modify the surface chemistry of laser textured metal alloys to achieve various extreme wettabilities, including superhydrophobicity/superoleophobicity, superhydrophilicity/superoleophilicity, and co-existence of superoleophobicity and superhydrophilicity.
- March 2020 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang successfully defended his PhD thesis in Spring 2020. Congratulations! Thesis title: "Laser Engineering Methods of Novel Multi-Functional Surfaces”
- January 2020 - Undergraduate Researcher Lujie Cai is named on the 2019 Fall UI President's List! The president’s list was established in 1983 to recognize academic excellence. In order to be included on the list, a student must have a minimum 4.0 grade-point average (4.0 is an A) in all academic subjects for the preceding two semesters.
- January 2020 - Avik Samanta starts as research intern at the Materials Science and Technology Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
- January 2020 - Avik Samanta is featured in University of Iowa Dare to Discover campaign which showcases researchers, scholars, and creators from across the University of Iowa on banners throughout downtown Iowa City. The campaign is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Iowa.
- December 2019 - At the end of 2019, our paper on nHSN is published by the journal of Applied Surface Science. We have been working on the topic for the past couple of years. This new paper shows the process development for this innovative surface nanostructuring process. More papers on nHSN will come in 2020!
- November 2019 - Prof. Ding receives College of Engineering Seed Grant to develop Superwicking Heat Pipe using Fast Laser/Chemical Surface Nanostructuring Method.
- November 2019 - Our THz metamaterials review paper is featured as the Frontispiece in Laser & Photonics Reviews.
- October 2019 - Avik and Nicholas are featured in the latest UI ME Newsletter.
- October 2019 - Avik Samanta is featured in College of Engineering News Feed.
- October 2019 - Avik Samanta presented the paper with title "Laser Chemical Processes to Tune Metal Surface Wettability" at the 56th Annual Technical Meeting of Society of Enginneering Science (SES 2019) held at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
- September 2019 - Qinghua ‘Nicholas’ Wang presented the paper with title "A Novel Laser Patterning Process for Highly Flexible Transparent Conducting Heater’ at the 3rd World Congress on Micro and Nano Manufacturing held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.
- August 2019 - Wuji Huang join our group. Wuji earned his BS in Materials Physics from Fudan University, PRC and MS in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Florida.Welcome!
- July 2019 - Lujie Cai and Shuo Zhao present their research on farbication of metamaterials-based THz biological sensor at the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Conference.
- July 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang starts a 6-month project at GM R&D as a visiting scientist.
- June 2019 - Avik Samanta is invited by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB), and Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur (IIEST) to deliver a talk on wettability control on metals by integrated laser texturing and surface chemistry modification.
- June 2019 - Our group members attended the co-located 47th NAMRI/SME North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC 47) and 2019 ASME International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC 2019) at Erie, Pennsylvania, USA.
- Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang presented the paper for the title of "Colorizing Hydrophobic Ti-6Al-4V Surface via High-Throughput Laser Surface Nanostructuring" and the poster for the title of "A Novel Laser-based Metasurface Fabrication Method for Tunable THz Bandpass Optics".
- Avik Samanta presented the paper for the title of "Nanosecond Pulsed Laser Processing Turns Engineering Metals Antireflective and Superwetting" and the poster for the title of "Turning Wettability on Laser Textured Metals by Surface Chemistry Modification".
- June 2019 - Prof. Ding receives CCAD CRISP Genesis Award to develop dynamically tunable metamaterial for THz spectroscopy.
- May 2019 - Prof. Ding gives a research talk at The 8th International Congress on Laser Advanced Materials Processing (LAMP 2019) in Hiroshima Japan.
- May 2019 - Prof. Ding receives the Career Kudos Award from the University of Iowa.
- May 2019 - Avik Samanta is congratulated with 2018- 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award by the Council of Teaching, University of Iowa at the Iowa Memorial Union. Congratulations!
- April 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang is congratulated with 2019 Student Innovator Award at The University of Iowa Discovery & Innovation Awards Ceremony at the Hancher Auditorium. Congratulations!
- April 2019 - Haoxuan You and Zach Lowery wins the 1st place Popular Choice Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
- April 2019 - Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2019 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
- April 2019 - Congratulations to Avik Samanta for receiving the 2018- 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. He is a doctoral candidate and has served as a teaching assistant for several courses. He is very dedicated, enthusiastic and enjoys working with the students.
- March 2019 - We recently published a paper in Optics and Lasers in Engineering for our research in Laser Keyhole Cutting of CFRP. For the first time, a keyhole mode cutting is achieved for CFRP materials using a long-pulse nanosecond laser. A high-quality machined surface can be produced with a limited heat-affected zone and little fiber pull-out. The paper can be read from here.
- March 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the the Ballard Seashore Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!
- March 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the 2019 Student Innovator Award from the University of Iowa. Congratulations!
- March 2019 - Avik Samanta received the Graduate College Post-Comprehensive Research Fellowship from the University of Iowa for Fall 2019. Congratulations!
- February 2019 -Our recent research is published in Scientific Reports on laser fabrication of new terahertz bandpass ultrathin metamaterials.
- December 2018 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang and Avik Samanta successfully passed their respective comprehensive exam in Fall 2018. Congratulations!
- October 2018 - Our research is featured in the 2018 ME Newsletter.
- October 2018 - Our group attended the 37th International Congress on Aplications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) at Orlando, Florida, USA.
- Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang presented the paper for the title of "A Novel Laser Surface Patterning Process for Fabrication of Transparent Conducting Ultra-thin Metal Film".
- Avik Samanta presented the poster for the title of "Enhancement of Laser Textured Surface Nanostructuring to Achieve Superhydrophobicity on Engineering Metal Surface".
- May 2018 - Ninggang ‘George’ Shen receives his PhD degree at 2018 Spring University of Iowa Graduate College Doctoral Commencement Ceremony at the Hancher Auditorium. Congratulations!
- May 2018 - Prof. Ding Receives NSF Grant to Study a Fast Laser-based Surface Nanostructuring Method.
- April 2018 - Avik Samanta wins the Rajyalakshmi & Shankar N Planjery Award in Spring 2018. Congratulations!
- April 2018 - Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2018 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
- October 2017 Ninggang ‘George’ Shen successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in Fall 2017. Congratulations!
- The title is “Microstructure Prediction of Severe Plastic Deformation Manufacturing Processes for Metals”.
- George took a research internship position at GM R&D during his last semester (Fall 2017) with a NSF support.
- George joined Tesla as a manufacturing engineer.
- September 2017 - Timothy Heiderscheit successfully defended his master’s thesis in Fall 2017. Congratulations!
- The thesis title is “Comparative Study of Near-Infrared Pulsed Laser Machining of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics”.
- Tim joined Quest Thermal Group as a Mechanical Engineer.
- April 2017 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang wins the Sharada Devi Planjery Memorial Award in Spring 2017. Congratulations!
- April 2017 - Avik Samanta wins the Best Graduate Poster Award at the 2017 UI Research Open House. Congratulations!
- September 2015 - Prof. Ding Receives $300,000 NSF Grant
- MForesight article about our laser-based composites processing research
At the University of Iowa, we have an immediate Research Assistantship (RA) opening for a project on wind turbine manufacturing, machining and surface treatment. We are looking for highly motivated students with background in one or more of the following areas: Solid mechanics, materials & mechanical behaviors, computer modeling (FEM, dislocation dynamics, MD, or phase field simulation), materials processing (e.g., machining), wind energy, and laser based manufacturing. PhD students in their first year or MS students who intend to continue PhD are preferred. Interested applicants are welcomed to contact Dr. Ding with a resume and a letter summarizing their research experience and research accomplishments.