Engineered Elastomer Substrates for Guided Assembly of Complex 3D Mesostructures by Spatially Nonuniform Compressive Buckling

Kewang Nan, Haiwen Luan, Zheng Yan, Xin Ning, Yiqi Wang, Ao Wang, Juntong Wang, Mengdi Han, Matthew Chang, Kan Li, Yutong Zhang, Wen Huang, Yeguang Xue, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang, John A. Rogers

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44 Scopus citations


Approaches capable of creating 3D mesostructures in advanced materials (device-grade semiconductors, electroactive polymers, etc.) are of increasing interest in modern materials research. A versatile set of approaches exploits transformation of planar precursors into 3D architectures through the action of compressive forces associated with release of prestrain in a supporting elastomer substrate. Although a diverse set of 3D structures can be realized in nearly any class of material in this way, all previously reported demonstrations lack the ability to vary the degree of compression imparted to different regions of the 2D precursor, thus constraining the diversity of 3D geometries. This paper presents a set of ideas in materials and mechanics in which elastomeric substrates with engineered distributions of thickness yield desired strain distributions for targeted control over resultant 3D mesostructures geometries. This approach is compatible with a broad range of advanced functional materials from device-grade semiconductors to commercially available thin films, over length scales from tens of micrometers to several millimeters. A wide range of 3D structures can be produced in this way, some of which have direct relevance to applications in tunable optics and stretchable electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1604281
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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