Research ArticleAPPLIED SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING

Geometrically reconfigurable 3D mesostructures and electromagnetic devices through a rational bottom-up design strategy

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Science Advances  22 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 30, eabb7417
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7417
  • Fig. 1 Conceptual illustrations of the bottom-up design strategy and a reconfigurable coil antenna.

    (A) FEA results that illustrate the buckling-guided process to achieve a geometrically reconfigurable 3D mesostructure. The bottom right panel presents a phase diagram of stable 3D configurations at different release angles (φ), with yellow and green denoting modes I and II, respectively. (B) FEA results and optical images that show a 2D precursor consisting of three pairs of elementary mesostructures in (A), which can be transformed into four distinct 3D configurations. The bottom right panel presents a phase diagram consisting of three layers, with each layer showing the mode distribution of a pair of elementary mesostructures. (C) Schematic illustration of the 2D precursor design of a reconfigurable coil antenna. (D) FEA results and optical images of the 3D coil antenna at two different operation modes. (E) Normalized induced voltage of the coil antenna for φ = 90° and 180°. (F and G) Schematic illustration of a reconfigurable energy-harvesting device with a 3 × 3 array of basic elements. (H) Phase diagram for each element in the array. (I to K) Three different operation modes of the antenna array, as marked in (H). Scale bars, 2 mm. Photo Credit: K.B., Tsinghua University.

  • Fig. 2 Physical mechanisms and design maps of elementary, reconfigurable 3D mesostructures.

    (A) Schematic of an arc-shaped 2D ribbon precursor bonded onto a prestrained substrate. (B) Illustration of release paths for four typical release angles. (C) Distributions of twisting curvatures in the ribbon (θ = 1.7π), after the first step of prestrain release. (D) Similar results for a fixed release angle (φ = 72°). (E) FEA results and optical images that illustrate the symmetry break induced by the appearance of the supporting substrate, leading to two distinct stable 3D configurations. (F) Phase diagram for the arc-shaped 2D precursor, along with optical images of assembled mesostructures in three representative conditions. (G and H) Design map for the 2D precursor consisting of a symmetric elliptic ribbon and optical images for three representative design points. (I) Design map for the 2D precursor consisting of an arc ribbon and a straight ribbon. (J) Similar results for the 2D precursor consisting of two arc ribbons with different central angles and radii. (K) Contour plot of the reconfigurability for the 2D precursor consisting of a semiellipse ribbon and a straight ribbon. (L) Optical images and phase diagrams for five representative design points. Scale bars, 2 mm. Photo credit: K.B., Tsinghua University.

  • Fig. 3 A variety of 3D reconfigurable mesostructures designed with a bottom-up strategy.

    (A to C) 2D precursors, FEA results, optical images, and corresponding phase diagrams of three classes of ribbon-shaped reconfigurable mesostructures. (D) Similar results for membrane-shaped reconfigurable mesostructures. (E) Similar results for reconfigurable 3D mesostructures with more than two stable configurations. Details about the evolution of deformed configurations during different release processes are in figs. S18 to S21, S25, and S26. In all of the phase diagrams in (A) to (D), the yellow and green regions correspond to the 3D configurations on the top and bottom, respectively. The 3D mesostructures are all made of a bilayer film of Al (1 μm) and PI (25 μm), except for those in (A), which consist of a bilayer of Cu (30 nm) and SU-8 (8 μm). Scale bars, 2 mm. Photo credit: K.B., Tsinghua University.

  • Fig. 4 A multimodal antenna with reconfigurable radiation pattern.

    (A and B) 2D precursor and phase diagram of a ribbon-shaped reconfigurable antenna. (C and D) 2D precursor and phase diagram of a multimodal antenna consisting of four pairs of reconfigurable components in (A). (E and F) Exploded view illustration and optical images of the antenna. (G and H) Results of electromagnetic simulations (G) and experimental measurements (H) for the return loss (S11) of the antenna at different operation modes. (I and J) FEA results and optical images of the antenna at different operation modes. (K) H-plane radiation patterns of the antenna at different operation modes. (L) Results of electromagnetic simulations and experimental measurements for the gain of the antenna. (M) Beam scanning of the antenna enabled by the distinct stable configurations with rotational symmetry and/or mirror symmetry. The corresponding release paths are (90°; 180°), (70°; 160°), (45°; 135°), and (20°; 110°), respectively. (N) Tunable H-plane radiation patterns of the antenna at modes I and IV by applying different levels of biaxial stretching to the substrate. The evolving 3D configurations with the biaxial stretching are also included. Scale bars, 2 cm. Photo credit: K.B., Tsinghua University.

Supplementary Materials

  • Supplementary Materials

    Geometrically reconfigurable 3D mesostructures and electromagnetic devices through a rational bottom-up design strategy

    Ke Bai, Xu Cheng, Zhaoguo Xue, Honglie Song, Lei Sang, Fan Zhang, Fei Liu, Xiang Luo, Wen Huang, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang

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