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Fracture-resistant and ultrathin nanocardboard for structrual applications

Description:

Brief Description:

Hollow, sandwich-like nanostructure that is joined by periodic, rigid webbing to increase bending stiffness and prevent fracture.

  

Technology:

 

Mechanical metamaterials are increasingly used for structural applications. In particular, sandwich structures consisting of two planar face sheets connected by a webbing or foam core, can provide an optimal design for applications that require low weight and high-stiffness. Despite their utility, currently available sandwich plates are prone to fracture or permanent deformation when mechanically loaded and have not been scaled to the nanometer scale.

 

To overcome this issue, a new “nanocardboard” sandwich-like structure, has been invented. The nanocardboard is composed of two nanometer thick plates that are separated by a microscale gap and joined by rigid, periodic webbing. The meta-material is fabricated in a single step of atomic layer deposition of alumina on a silicon mold that contains the webbing. The optimal webbing can be a honeycomb lattice, basket-weave pattern or cylinders packed in hexagonal packing. The final, optimized basketweave webbing structure is ultrathin, ultralight, has a high bending stiffness, and resists fracture and deformation when mechanically loaded. Furthermore, the material exhibits excellent thermal-insulating properties, making it well suited for high heat applications and electrical insulation.

 

Caption: The nanocardboard structures are comprised of (A) two nanometer thick plates separated by a hollow microscale gap and joined by (B) periodic webbing that, in combination, allow the material to withstand fracture and deformation during mechanical loading and shearing. (C) A 13mm-diameter nanocardboard plate at macroscale.

 

Applications:

• Nano- and micro-electromechanical systems

• Nanoscale thermal insulation

• Biological membranes

• Nanorobotics and microflyer wings

• Scanning probe cantilevers

• Interstellar lightsails

 

Advantages:

• Improved resilience to fracture and deformation during loading or shearing of the material

• Single-step fabrication

• Ultrathin and ultralight (~1 g m-2)

• Excellent thermal and electrical insulator

 

Stage of Development:

• Developed and tested in a laboratory environment

• Demonstrated scale at 1 centimeter-square size

 

Intellectual Property:

• US patent pending

 

Reference Media:

Nanocardboard as a nanoscale analog of hollow sandwich plates. Nature Communications 9, Article number: 4442 (2018).

 

Desired Partnerships:

License

Co-development 


Patent Information:
Category(s):
Materials
For Information, Contact:
Qishui Chen
University of Pennsylvania
215-898-9591
qchen1@upenn.edu
Inventors:
Igor Bargatin
Keywords:
Nanotechnology