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Phase-transforming and switchable metamaterials

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Phase-transforming and switchable metamaterials

Dian Yang, Lihua Jin, Ramses V Martinez, Katia Bertoldi, George M Whitesides, Zhigang Suo

This paper demonstrates a new soft structure that uses a meso- or macro-scale elastic instability to generate a shape-memory effect similar to that exhibited by a ferroelastic material. It demonstrates the phase transitions, state switching, and shape-memory effects in this system, both in experiment and in simulation. The new class of materials described in the paper is potentially useful, since it comprises what are effectively “shape-memory alloys” of arbitrarily low modulus and arbitrarily large remnant strain. The reproduction of properties of materials usually associated with atomic- or molecular-level changes in structure using meso-scale structural opens the door to development of new, soft materials with new properties and functions.

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