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Three-dimensional mesostructures as high-temperature growth templates, electronic cellular scaffolds, and self-propelled microrobots

  1. John A. Rogersk,t,u,v,w,x,y,2
  1. aDepartment of Chemical Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211;
  2. bDepartment of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211;
  3. cDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801;
  4. dFrederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801;
  5. eNational Key Laboratory of Science and Technology on Micro/Nano Fabrication, Peking University, Beijing 100871, People’s Republic of China;
  6. fCenter for Mechanics and Materials, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China;
  7. gCenter for Flexible Electronics Technology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China;
  8. hApplied Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China;
  9. iState Key Laboratory of Mechanics and Control of Mechanical Structures, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, People’s Republic of China;
  10. jSchool of Chemical Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801;
  11. kDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  12. lDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109;
  13. mBeckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, Quantitative Light Imaging Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801;
  14. nDepartment of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005;
  15. oDepartment of Mechanical Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801;
  16. pSchool of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Yonsei University, Seoul 03722, Republic of Korea;
  17. qInstitute of Advanced Structure Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, People’s Republic of China;
  18. rBeijing Key Laboratory of Lightweight Multi-Functional Composite Materials and Structures, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, People’s Republic of China;
  19. sDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  20. tDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  21. uDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  22. vDepartment of Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  23. wDepartment of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  24. xDepartment of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208;
  25. yCenter for Bio-Integrated Electronics, Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208
  1. Contributed by John A. Rogers, September 29, 2017 (sent for review August 7, 2017; reviewed by Firat Guder and Glaucio H. H. Paulino)

Significance

Exploiting advanced 3D designs in micro/nanomanufacturing inspires potential applications in various fields including biomedical engineering, metamaterials, electronics, electromechanical components, and many others. The results presented here provide enabling concepts in an area of broad, current interest to the materials community––strategies for forming sophisticated 3D micro/nanostructures and means for using them in guiding the growth of synthetic materials and biological systems. These ideas offer qualitatively differentiated capabilities compared with those available from more traditional methodologies in 3D printing, multiphoton lithography, and stress-induced bending––the result enables access to both active and passive 3D mesostructures in state-of-the-art materials, as freestanding systems or integrated with nearly any type of supporting substrate.

Abstract

Recent work demonstrates that processes of stress release in prestrained elastomeric substrates can guide the assembly of sophisticated 3D micro/nanostructures in advanced materials. Reported application examples include soft electronic components, tunable electromagnetic and optical devices, vibrational metrology platforms, and other unusual technologies, each enabled by uniquely engineered 3D architectures. A significant disadvantage of these systems is that the elastomeric substrates, while essential to the assembly process, can impose significant engineering constraints in terms of operating temperatures and levels of dimensional stability; they also prevent the realization of 3D structures in freestanding forms. Here, we introduce concepts in interfacial photopolymerization, nonlinear mechanics, and physical transfer that bypass these limitations. The results enable 3D mesostructures in fully or partially freestanding forms, with additional capabilities in integration onto nearly any class of substrate, from planar, hard inorganic materials to textured, soft biological tissues, all via mechanisms quantitatively described by theoretical modeling. Illustrations of these ideas include their use in 3D structures as frameworks for templated growth of organized lamellae from AgCl–KCl eutectics and of atomic layers of WSe2 from vapor-phase precursors, as open-architecture electronic scaffolds for formation of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neural networks, and as catalyst supports for propulsive systems in 3D microswimmers with geometrically controlled dynamics. Taken together, these methodologies establish a set of enabling options in 3D micro/nanomanufacturing that lie outside of the scope of existing alternatives.

Footnotes

  • ?1Z.Y. and M.H. contributed equally to this work.

  • ?2To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: yihuizhang{at}tsinghua.edu.cn or jrogers{at}northwestern.edu.
  • Author contributions: Z.Y., M.H., Y.S., Yonggang Huang, Y.Z., and J.A.R. designed research; Z.Y., M.H., Y.S., A.B., Y.Y., A.K., E.H., M.E.K., X.W., F.Z., Y.L., Q.L., Hang Zhang, Xiaogang Guo, Yuming Huang, K.N., S.J., A.W.O., M.B.M., J. Lim, Xuelin Guo, M.G., W.R., K.J.Y., B.G.N., A.P., and S.S.R. performed research; Z.Y., M.H., Y.S., A.B., Y.Y., A.K., E.H., M.E.K., X.W., S.S.R., Y.Z., and J.A.R. analyzed data; and Z.Y., M.H., A.B., A.K., E.H., J. Lou, P.M.A., K.T., G.P., D.F., J.V.S., P.V.B., Haixia Zhang, R.G.N., Yonggang Huang, Y.Z., and J.A.R. wrote the paper.

  • Reviewers: F.G., Imperial College London; and G.H.H.P., Georgia Institute of Technology.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

  • This article contains supporting information online at www.danielhellerman.com/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1073/pnas.1713805114/-/DCSupplemental.

Online Impact

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