Namiko Yamamoto

Material Engineering in Nano/Micro Levels for Space Structures

Personal Website

Where is she NOW? - Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, PennState

"The goal of my research is to gain the freedom to tailor material properties for any desired space application, taking advantage of a palette of nano/micro-scale features through controlled and ordered implementation. Currently, the selection of materials compatible with the space environment (vacuum, high and low temperature, and cosmic rays) is limited, resulting in high mass, high cost, and poor productivity. In the Keck Institute Study on Large Space Structures, new bi-material arrays are proposed for segmented mirrors as an alternative to monolithic single-component mirrors. Here, engineering in micro-scale is critical since it benefits optimization in various aspects, from optical, mechanical and thermal properties to affordability and productivity. However, these designed arrays have not been delivered yet due to the difficulty in achieving structural stability. I set the short-term goal to achieve thin (~1-100 microns), free-standing bi-material space mirrors that are thermomechanically stable in the space operation environment. A unique support that edge-clamps the array under a tensile stress is proposed to achieve high flexural rigidity regardless of the small thickness. Mechanical and thermal properties will be experimentally characterized using Stoney's equation, and thermal and mechanical failures will be theoretically evaluated using von Karman non-linear plate theory." (April 2011)

"The postdoc experience on the KISS fellowship was truly exceptional. Selecting research topics on my own was luxury. Working with intelligent, motivated, and fun colleagues and bosses was simply a bliss. We even had rare opportunities to personally chat and dine with leading scientists and engineers from all over the world. Furthermore, I love that the KISS definitely has a sense of community, or even family, embraced by Prof. Prince and Ms. Judd. The KISS postdoc years significantly influenced my career direction, and I feel ready to jump into another adventure to this time contribute back to the community."

Selected Publications:


  • N. Yamamoto, H. Manohara, and E. Platzman, “Magnetically Anisotropic Additive for Scalable Manufacturing of Polymer Nanocomposite: Iron-coated Carbon Nanotubes,” Materials Research Express, Vol. 3, No.2, 2016, 025004.
  • N. Yamamoto, E. Gdoutos, R. Toda, V. White, H. Manohara, and C. Daraio, “A Thin Film Metamaterial Consisting of Metallic Lattices: Tunable CTE for Thermal Stability,” Advanced Materials, 2014. Cited in Editor’s Choice, Science, Vol. 343, No. 6176, 14 March 2014.

Conference Proceedings

  • N. Yamamoto and H. Manohara, “Magnetically Anisotropic Nano-pillars: Micro-structuring of Nanocomposites using Oscillating Magnetic Fields,” 20th International Conference on Composite Materials, Copenhagen Denmark, Jul. 2015.
  • P. Bahrami, N. Yamamoto, Y. Chen, and H. Manohara, “Capacitance-based Damage Detection Sensing for Aerospace Structural Composites,” SPIE Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems, San Diego CA, Apr. 2014.
  • N. Yamamoto, H. Manohara, “Magnetic Nano-Pillars: Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes Conformally Coated with Ferromagnetic Metals,” MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit, San Francisco CA, Apr. 2014.
  • C. Daraio, N. Yamamoto, E. Gdoutos, "Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Structured Thin Films with Tunable, Ultra-low Thermal Expansion,” VI International Conference on Textile Composites and Inflatable Structures Structural Membranes, Munich, Germany, Oct. 2013.
  • N. Yamamoto, E. Gdoutos, C. Daraio, "Fabrication and Characterization of Bi-metallic Structured Films with Ultra-low Thermal Expansion,” SEM Annual Conference & Exposition on Experimental and Applied Mechanics, Lombard IL, Jun. 2013.
  • N. Yamamoto, E. Gdoutos, C. Daraio, "Engineered Thin Films with Ultra-low Thermal Expansion Coefficient for Deformable Space Structures," 54th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Boston MA, Apr. 2013.
  • N. Yamamoto, R. Thevamaran, C. Daraio, "Dynamic Behavior of Periodic Structures Consisting of Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes and Rigid Interlayer," 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Honolulu HI, Apr. 2012.
  • K. Patterson, N. Yamamoto, S. Pellegrino, "Thin Deformable Mirrors for a Reconfigurable Space Telescope," 53rd AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, Honolulu HI, Apr. 2012.