Creation of simultaneously strong and lightweight materials can be achieved by incorporating architecture into material design. Dominant properties of such meta-materials are driven by multi-scale nature: from characteristic microstructure (atoms) to individual constituents (nanometers) to structural components (microns) to overall macro-architectures. To harness beneficial properties of 3D nano-architected meta-materials, it is critical to assess their properties at each relevant scale while capturing overall structural complexity.
In this Nix III symposium, my talk will focus on design, synthesis, and characterization of nano-architected materials created via additive manufacturing (AM) techniques and on their mechanical response as a function of architecture, constituent materials, and microstructure. These “meta-materials” exhibit superior and tunable properties, i.e. impact resilience, recoverability, failure suppression, anisotropic stiffness at extremely low densities, and lend themselves to novel functionalities. We strive to uncover synergy between atomic-level microstructure and nano-sized external dimensionality, where competing material- and structure-induced size effects drive overall response.