# How the Finite Element Analysis Is Advancing Nanotechnology

The finite element analysis (FEA) is leading to major breakthroughs in nanotechnology, and having a huge impact on a number of industries spanning electronics, material science, quantum science, engineering, and biotechnology, AZO Nano reported

Simulations based on FEA, a complex mathematical technique, is giving engineers valuable insight into the mysterious mechanical properties of polymer nanocomposites used as filler in polymer manufacturing and processing. These properties offer a revolutionary alternative to conventional polymer composites, including enhanced abrasion resistance, less shrinkage, and residual stress, as well as advanced thermal, electrical, and optical properties.

Nanomaterials are much smaller than traditional materials, and are therefore typically not as effective. As such, it is crucial for engineers to understand how the materials will react under stress in order to improve their design. While FEA is just one technique used to test these designs, its unique abilities provide significant insight into their properties.

#### What is FEA?

As we previously reported, FEA is based on the finite element method (FEM), a technique that can help solve highly complex math equations. A simple way to understand FEM is to look at it as separating a large problem into a series of smaller ones (“finite elements”), making the overall problem easier to see. FEA is the mathematical equations behind FEM that is applied to create a simulation. The simulation breaks down the entire model into smaller elements within a mesh, which engineers use to test how the different elements of a design interact and perform under simulated stressors.

There are many benefits of using FEA. For one, its insight into how the various elements of a design are interacting in minute detail provide enhanced accuracy of structural analysis. Furthermore, FEA allows engineers to create virtual simulations thereby reducing the need for physical prototypes and testing in order to save time and money.

#### How Are Engineers Using FEA for Advancing Nanotechnology?

Using FEA, researchers have discovered that high interfacial stress can cause the nanofiber or matrix in the material to come apart. They were able to control the properties which improve the strength of the interface to generate the best stress transfer. They discovered that the accumulation of stress concentrations at the interface between the fiber and the matrix can reveal the effective matrix-to-nanofiber stress transfer. Additionally, engineers can use FEA to simulate the composition of nanocomposites and nanotubes in the polymer, which would strengthen their mechanical properties by organizing thousands of nanotubes in a specific pattern.

#### What Industries Are Benefiting From This Research?

The aerospace sector is using FEA to model and test the effectiveness of polymer nanocomposites-based structures. FEA is also used by the manufacturing sector to simulate the necessary properties of polymer nanocomposites for use in packaging and coating applications.

Engineers are also using FEA to make breakthroughs in the field of photonics. Examples include using FEA to analyze four-wave mixing of topological edge plasmons in graphene metasurfaces; to demonstrate a feasible way to control light on integrated photonics and free-space metasurfaces; and to develop advancements in surface-emitting semiconductor lasers and optical lenses. Learn more about how photonics researchers are using FEA to advance their field.

#### Problem-Solving Applications with Photonic Devices

Providing a comprehensive and up-to-date account of FEM in photonics devices, with an emphasis on practical, problem-solving applications and real-world examples, Finite Element Method for Photonics is a five course-program from IEEE. Created by Dr. Agrawal, learners will gain an understanding of how mathematical concepts translate to computer code finite element-based methods after completing this program.

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today to learn how to get access in order to train your organization.

Interested in the course program for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network (ILN).

#### Resources

Ahsan, Muhammad Adeel (27 April 2022). Finite Element Analysis of Polymer Nanocomposites. AZO Nano.