3d Nano architected metamaterials could be 1 million times lighter

Nanometer thick walls that are made into hollow trusses to enable far lighter and stronger material.

Julia Greer’s web page at Cal Tech

Journal of Materials Science – Mechanical characterization of hollow ceramic nanolattices


In the analysis of complex, hierarchical structural meta-materials, it is critical to understand the mechanical behavior at each level of hierarchy in order to understand the bulk material response. We report the fabrication and mechanical deformation of hierarchical hollow tube lattice structures with features ranging from 10 nm to 100 μm, hereby referred to as nanolattices. Titanium nitride (TiN) nanolattices were fabricated using a combination of two-photon lithography, direct laser writing, and atomic layer deposition. The structure was composed of a series of tessellated regular octahedra attached at their vertices. In situ uniaxial compression experiments performed in combination with finite element analysis on individual unit cells revealed that the TiN was able to withstand tensile stresses of 1.75 GPa under monotonic loading and of up to 1.7 GPa under cyclic loading without failure. During the compression of the unit cell, the beams bifurcated via lateral-torsional buckling, which gave rise to a hyperelastic behavior in the load–displacement data. During the compression of the full nanolattice, the structure collapsed catastrophically at a high strength and modulus that agreed well with classical cellular solid scaling laws given the low relative density of 1.36 %. We discuss the compressive behavior and mechanical analysis of the unit cell of these hollow TiN nanolattices in the context of finite element analysis in combination with classical buckling laws, and the behavior of the full structure in the context of classical scaling laws of cellular solids coupled with enhanced nanoscale material properties.

Nature Materials – Fabrication and deformation of three-dimensional hollow ceramic nanostructures

Advanced Engineering Materials – Design and Fabrication of Hollow Rigid Nanolattices via Two-Photon Lithography

This paper presents the design and fabrication of 3-dimensional hollow metallic nanolattices using 2-photon lithography. The ability to fabricate structures of any geometry, with resolution down to 150 nm, provides opportunities to engineer structures spanning multiple length scales with potential to capitalize on combined structural and material size effects for use in many technological applications.

Nextbigfuture covered earlier publications of this work in Sept of 2013

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