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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.