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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 857574, 11 pages
Research Article

Vision-Augmented Molecular Dynamics Simulation of Nanoindentation

Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences, Brunel University London, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, UK

Received 15 December 2014; Revised 14 April 2015; Accepted 16 April 2015

Academic Editor: Nadimul Faisal

Copyright © 2015 Rajab Al-Sayegh and Charalampos Makatsoris. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present a user-friendly vision-augmented technique to carry out atomic simulation using hand gestures. The system is novel in its concept as it enables the user to directly manipulate the atomic structures on the screen, in 3D space using hand gestures, allowing the exploration and visualisation of molecular interactions at different relative conformations. The hand gestures are used to pick and place atoms on the screen allowing thereby the ease of carrying out molecular dynamics simulation in a more efficient way. The end result is that users with limited expertise in developing molecular structures can now do so easily and intuitively by the use of body gestures to interact with the simulator to study the system in question. The proposed system was tested by simulating the crystal anisotropy of crystalline silicon during nanoindentation. A long-range (Screened bond order) Tersoff potential energy function was used during the simulation which revealed the value of hardness and elastic modulus being similar to what has been found previously from the experiments. We anticipate that our proposed system will open up new horizons to the current methods on how an MD simulation is designed and executed.