Katerina E. Aifantis

Associate Professor
Engineering Mechanics


  • Ph.D., Natural Sciences & Mathematics, University of Groningen, Netherlands, 2005
  • M.Phil., Engineering, University of Cambridge (Pembroke College), UK, 2004
  • B.S., Engineering, Michigan Technological University, USA, 2002

Professional Experience

After obtaining her Bachelors at 19, KEA was granted a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, which took her to the University of Cambridge and then to the University of Groningen. In 2005 she obtained her PhD at 21, becoming the youngest PhD holder ever in the Netherlands. While doing a post doc at Harvard, she was granted a prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant for performing research in nanotechnology for five years at the Aristotle University of Greece (out of over 9000 applicants, only 300 were funded, with KEA being the youngest at 24). Her contributions are in nanotechnology, ranging for the mechanical behavior of nanomaterials and micropillars to next generation anodes for Li-ion batteries. Recently she has started to explore the use of nanotechnology in medicine, examining also the effects of medicine and disease on the mechanical response of cells.

Research Interests

  • Understanding the mechanical behavior of nanomaterials
  • Developing Next generation nanostructured anodes for Li-ion batteries
  • Characterizing the mechanical behavior of biomaterials (including cancer cells, nerve cells) and determining how medicines and disease affect the elastic properties.
  • Additional information about KEA's research can be found at her group's website: https://sites.google.com/site/kaifantisgroup/



  • Editor and co-Author of three chapters (4,6&8): High Energy Density Lithium Batteries: Materials, Engineering, Applications, K.E. Aifantis, S. A. Hackney and V.R. Kumar (Editors), Wiley-VCH, 2010, ISBN 978-3-527-32407-1. [This book was translated in Chinese: China Machine Press, 2011, ISBN: 9787111371786.]

 Peer Reviewed Articles

1.       Li X.M., Zhao T.X., Sun L.W., Aifantis K.E., Fan Y.B., Feng Q.L., Cui F.Z., Watari F. The applications of conductive nanomaterials in the biomedical field. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2015; DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35537. (in press)

2.       Shi S., Jiang W.B., Aifantis K.E., Wang H., Lin L., Fan Y.B., Feng Q.L., Cui F.Z., Li X.M. The application of nanomaterials in controlled drug delivery for bone regeneration. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2015; DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.35522. (in press)

3.       Li X.M., Liu W., Sun L.W., Aifantis K.E., Yu B., Fan Y.B., Feng Q.L., Cui F.Z., Watari F. Effects of physicochemical properties of nanomaterials on their toxicity. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2015; 103 (7): 2499–2507.

4.       Tallawi, M., Zebrowski, D.C., Rai R., Roether, J.A., Schubert, D.W., El Fray, M.,  Engel, F.B., Aifantis, K.E., Boccaccini, A.R., Poly(glycerol sebacate)/poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleate) (PGS/PBS-DLA) fibrous scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering, Tissue Eng C, In print. 21, 585-596, 2015.

5.       Lang, N.R., Skodzek, K., Hurst, S., Mainka, A.,Steinwachs, J., Schneider, J., Aifantis, K.E., Fabry, B., Biphasic response of cell invasion to matrix stiffness in 3-dimensional biopolymer networks, Acta Biomaterialia 13, 61-67, 2015.

6.       TallawiM., Rai R., Boccaccini A.R., Aifantis K.E., Effect of substrate mechanics on cardiomyocyte -maturation and growth, Tissue Eng B. In Print. 21, 157-165, 2015.

7.       Zhang X., Aifantis K.E., Weygand D., Senger J., Zaiser M., Internal length scale and grain boundary yield strength in gradient models of polycrystal plasticity: How do they relate to dislocation microstructure?, J Mater Res, In Print. Featured Article

8.       Karapanagiotis I., Pavlou A., Manoudis P.N, Aifantis K.E., Water repellent ORMOSIL films for the protection of stone and other materials, Mat Lett 131, 276-279, 2014.

9.       Li X., Cui R., Sun L., Aifantis K.E., Fan Y., Feng Q., Cui F.-Z.,  Watari F., 3D printed biopolymers for tissue engineering application, Int J of Polymer Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/829145, 2014.

10.       Li X., Liu W., Sun L., Aifantis K.E., Yu B., Fan Y., Feng Q., Cui F., Watari F., Resin Composites Reinforced by Nanoscaled Fibers or Tubes for Dental Regeneration, Biomed Research Int, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/542958), 2014.

11.       Weis C., Blank F., West A., Black G., Woodward R.C., Carroll M.R.J., Kartmann R., Hallam E., Shaw J., Murphy J., Teoh W.Y., Aifantis K.E., Amal R., House M., Pierre M., Fabry B., Labeling of cancer cells with magnetic nanoparticles for magnetic resonance imaging, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 71, 1896–1905, 2014.

12.       Konstantinidis A.A., Aifantis K.E., De Hosson J.Th.M., Capturing the stochastic mechanical behavior of micro and nanopillars, Matls Sci & Eng A 597, 89–94 2014.

13.       Zhang X., Aifantis K.E., Ngan A.H.W., Interpreting the stress-strain response of Al micropillars through gradient plasticity, Matls Sci & Eng A 591, 38-45, 2014.

14.       Li X., Yang Y., Liu H., Niu X., Zhou G., Sun L., Aifantis K.E., Yu B., Fan Y., Feng Q., Cui F.-Z., Watari F., The in vitro response of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells to carbon nanotubes compared to nano-hydroxyapatite, J of Nanomaterials, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/728130), 2013.

15.       Lang N.R., Münster S., Metzner C., Krauss P., Schürmann S.b, Lange J., Aifantis, K.E., Friedrich, O., Fabry, B., Estimating the 3D pore size distribution of biopolymer networks from directionally biased data, Biophys. J. 105, 1967-1975, 2013.

16.       Zhang X., Aifantis K.E., Zaiser, M., Material vs discretization length scales in plasticity simulations of solid foams, Rev Adv Matls Sci 35, 39-47, 2013.

17.       Tallawi M., Rai R., Gleixner M-R., Roerick O., Weyand M., Roether J.A., Schubert W.D., Kozlowska A., El Fray M., Merle B., Göken M., Aifantis K., Boccaccini A.R., Poly(glycerol sebacate)\Poly(butylene succinate-dilinoleate) Blends as Candidate Materials for Cardiac Tissue Engineering, Macromol. Symp. 334, 57–67, 2013.

18.       Adpakpang K., Sarakonsri T., Aifantis K.E., Hackney S.A., Morphological study of SnSb/graphitecomposites influenced by different ratio of Sn:Sb, Reviews on Advanced Materials Science 32, 12-18, 2012.

19.       Zaiser M., Mill F., Konstantinidis A., Aifantis K.E., Strain localization and strain propagation in collapsible solid foams, Materials Science and Engineering A 567, 38-45, 2013.

20.       Aifantis K.E., Shrivastava S., Pelidou E., Capturing the elasticity and morphology of live fibroblast cell cultures during degradation with atomic force microscopy, Journal of Microscopy 249, 62-68, 2013.

21.       Hackney S.A., Aifantis K.E., Tagrakarn A., Shrivastava S., Using the Kelvin-Voigt model for nanoindentation creep in Sn-C/PVDF nanocomposites, Materials Science & Technology 28, 1161-1166, 2012.

22.       Dimitrijevic B.J., Aifantis K.E, Hackl K., The influence of particle size and spacing on the fragmentation of nanocomposite anodes for Li batteries, Journal of Power Sources 206, 343-348, 2012.

23.       Aifantis K.E., Motz C., Weydand D., Nikitas N., Zaiser M., Microbending of a thin film through discrete dislocation dynamics and gradient plasticity, Journal of Materials Research 27, 612-618, 2012.

24.       Wang Y.H., He Y., Xiao R.J., Li H., Aifantis K.E., Huang X.J., Investigation of crack patterns and cyclic performance of Ti-Si nanocomposite thin film anodes for lithium ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources 202, 236-245, 2012.

25.       Aifantis K.E., Huang T., Hackney S.A., Yu A., Electrochemical and Mechanical Behaviour of Sn-C nanopowder anodes, J. Power Sources 197, 246-252, 2012.

26.       Bin T., Aifantis K.E., Ngan A.H.W., Elastic modulus of nanostructured polymer surfaces, Materials Letters 67, 237-240, 2012.

27.       Tsibidis G.D., Stratakis E., Aifantis K.E., Thermoplastic deformation of silicon surfaces induced by ultrashort pulsed lasers in submelting conditions, Journal of Applied Physics 111, 053502, 2012. 

28.       Hoffman D., Miskioglu I., Aifantis K.E., Drelich J., Measuring the surface and bulk modulus of polished polymers with AFM and nanoindentation, Journal of Adhesion Science & Technology 26,1201–1220, 2012.

29.       Koufaki N., Ranella A., Aifantis K.E., Barberoglou M., Psycharakis S., Fotakis C., Stratakis E., Controlling cell adhesion via replication of laser micro/nano-textured surfaces on polymers, Biofabrications 3, 045004, 2011.

30.       Aifantis, K.E., Haycock M., Sanders, P. Hackney, S.A., Fracture of nanostructured Sn/C anodes during Li-insertion, Materials Science & Engineering A 529, 55-61, 2011.

31.       Zhang X., Aifantis K.E., Interpreting the softening of nanomaterials through gradient plasticity, Journal of Materials Research 26, 1399-1406, 2011.

32.       Aifantis, K.E., Shrivastava, S., Odegard, G.M., Transverse mechanical properties of collagen fibers from nanoindentation, Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine 22, 1375-1381, 2011.

33.       Shrivastava, S., Aifantis, K.E., Effects of cola drinks on the morphology and elastic modulus of dentin, Materials Letters 65, 2254-2256, 2011.   

34.       Zhang, X., Aifantis K.E., Interpreting Strain Bursts and Size Effects in Micropillars using Gradient Plasticity, Materials Science&Engineering A 528, 5036-5043, 2011.

35.       Aifantis K.E., Hackney S.A., Mechanical stability for nanostructured Sn- and Si-based anodes, Journal of Power Sources 196, 2122-2127, 2011.

36.       Zhang, X., Aifantis, K.E., Accounting for grain boundary thickness in the submicron and nano scales, Reviews in Advanced Materials Science 26, 14-34, 2010.

37.       Aifantis K.E., Brutti S., Sarakonsri T., Hackney S.A., Scrosati B., SnO2/C nanocomposites as anodes in secondary Li-ion batteries, Electrochimica Acta 55, 5071-5076, 2010.

38.       Aifantis K.E., Konstantinidis A., Forest S., Modeling strain localization bands in metal foams, J. Comput. Theor. Nanosci. 7, 360-366, 2010.

39.       Aifantis K.E., Interfaces in crystalline materials, Procedia Engineering 1, A. Korsunsky, D. Dini, (Ed.), 167-170, 2009.

40.       Aifantis K.E., Hackney S.A, Morphological stability analysis of polycrystalline interconnects  under the influence of electromigration, Reviews on Advanced Materials Science 19, 98-102, 2009.

41.       Aifantis K.E., Konstantinidis A.A., Hall-Petch revisited at the nanoscale, Materials Science&Engineering B 163, 139-144, 2009.

42.       Aifantis K.E., Konstantinidis A.A., Hackney S.A., On some aspects of interfaces at the nanoscale, Journal of the Mechanics and MEMS 1, 105-117, 2009.

43.       Aifantis K.E., Konstantinidis A.A., Yielding and tensile behavior of nanocrystalline copper, Materials Science&Engineering A 459, 198-201, 2009.

44.       Aifantis K.E., Askes H., Gradient elasticity with interfacial effects, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior Materials 18, 283-306, 2007.   

45.       Aifantis K.E., Kolesnikova A.L., Romanov, A.E., Nucleation of misfit dislocation in nanowires, Philosophical Magazine 87, 4731-4757, 2007.

46.         Aifantis K.E., Ngan A.W., Modeling dislocation - grain boundary interactions through gradient plasticity and nanoindentation, Materials Science and Engineering A 459, 251-261, 2007.

47.         Aifantis K.E., Dempsey J.P., Hackney S.A., Design criteria for nanostructured Li-ion batteries, Journal of Power Sources 165, 874-879, 2007.

48.         Aifantis K.E., Soer W.A., De Hosson J.Th.M, Willis, J.R, Interfaces within strain gradient plasticity: Theory and experiments, Acta Materialia 54, 50775085, 2006.

49.         Aifantis K.E., Willis J.R., Scale effects induced by strain-gradient plasticity and interfacial resistance in periodic and randomly heterogeneous media, Mechanics of Materials 38, 702-716, 2006.

50.         Aifantis K.E., Dempsey J.P., Hackney S.A., Cracking in Si-based anodes for Li-ion batteries, Reviews on Advanced Materials Science 10, 403-408, 2005.

51.         Soer W.A., Aifantis K.E., De Hosson J.Th.M., Incipient plasticity during nanoindentation at grain boundaries in body-centered cubic metals, Acta Materialia 53, 4665-4676, 2005.

52.         Aifantis K.E., Dempsey J.P., Stable crack growth in nanostructured Li-batteries, Journal of Power Sources 143, 203-211, 2005.

53.         Aifantis K.E., Willis J.R., The role of interfaces in enhancing the yield strength of composites and polycrystals, Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 53, 1047-1070, 2005.

54.   Aifantis K.E., Hackney S.A., Elasticity in Li-batteries, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Materials 14, 403-427, 2003.



PO Box 210072 • 1209 E. Second Street, Room 206A-1, Tucson, AZ 85721
Tel: 520.621.2266 • Fax: 520.621.2550 • ceem@engr.arizona.edu

University of Arizona College of Engineering