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Materials by design: Using architecture in material design to reach new property spaces

  • Lauren Montemayor (a1), Victoria Chernow (a2) and Julia R. Greer (a3)

Mimicking the resilience offered by hard biomaterials, such as mollusk shells and beaks, has been among the most sought-after engineering pursuits. Technological advances in fabrication methods have provided pathways for using different materials to create architected structural metamaterials with hierarchy and length scales similar to those found in nature. Inspiration from nature has led to the creation of structural metamaterials, or nanolattices, with enhanced mechanical properties caused by hierarchical ordering at various length scales, ranging from angstroms and nanometers for the material microstructure to microns and millimeters for the macroscale architecture. The inherent periodicity and high surface-area-to-volume ratios of nanolattices make them useful for a variety of applications, including photonics, photovoltaics, phononics, and electrochemical systems. This article provides an overview of current three-dimensional architected metamaterials, including their fabrication methods, properties, applications, and limitations.

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