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Nat Mater. 2018 Mar;17(3):268-276. doi: 10.1038/s41563-017-0011-3. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Morphable 3D mesostructures and microelectronic devices by multistable buckling mechanics.

Author information

1
Center for Mechanics and Materials; Center for Flexible Electronics Technology; AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
2
Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
3
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.
4
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
5
National Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro/Nano Fabrication, Peking University, Beijing, China.
6
Department of Chemical Engineering and Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
7
Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA.
8
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea.
9
Institute of Advanced Structure Technology; Beijing Key Laboratory of Lightweight Multi-functional Composite Materials and Structures, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China.
10
Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA. y-huang@northwestern.edu.
11
Center for Mechanics and Materials; Center for Flexible Electronics Technology; AML, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. yihuizhang@tsinghua.edu.cn.
12
Departments of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Neurological Surgery, Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics; and Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA. jrogers@northwestern.edu.

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) structures capable of reversible transformations in their geometrical layouts have important applications across a broad range of areas. Most morphable 3D systems rely on concepts inspired by origami/kirigami or techniques of 3D printing with responsive materials. The development of schemes that can simultaneously apply across a wide range of size scales and with classes of advanced materials found in state-of-the-art microsystem technologies remains challenging. Here, we introduce a set of concepts for morphable 3D mesostructures in diverse materials and fully formed planar devices spanning length scales from micrometres to millimetres. The approaches rely on elastomer platforms deformed in different time sequences to elastically alter the 3D geometries of supported mesostructures via nonlinear mechanical buckling. Over 20 examples have been experimentally and theoretically investigated, including mesostructures that can be reshaped between different geometries as well as those that can morph into three or more distinct states. An adaptive radiofrequency circuit and a concealable electromagnetic device provide examples of functionally reconfigurable microelectronic devices.

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