Composite Soft Materials with Decentralized and Distributed Actuation

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project aims to build on the Mirkin group’s extensive expertise in creating reconfigurable, chemically tunable nanostructures and TERA-print’s innovative nanolithography technology. Through a highly collaborative approach that will involve dramatic advances in the nanopatterning technology and rational design of soft stimuli-responsive composite materials, we will develop a universal approach to constructing composite soft material systems with a wide range of distributed, independently actuatable functionalities that can undergo predictable three-dimensional transformations. The overarching goal is to develop chemistries and fabrication strategies for rapid modulation of local physicochemical properties in soft materials and delivery of new electromagnetic, optical, mechanical, thermal, and biological functionalities with sub-micron spatial control over centimeter scale areas under relaxed or stressed environmental conditions. The scientific impact of this project is threefold: (1) A string of important basic chemical, biological, and physical advances. (2) The realization of a novel nanopatterning strategy for effective and precise manipulation and editing of soft active materials will revolutionize many fields, including microrobotics, programmable matter, energy storage, and smart medicine. (3) Access to previously impossible avenues of research and technologies with diverse applications of interest to the Department of Defense. Indeed, the realization of such capabilities would empower researchers across the USA and keep the USA at the forefront of nanoscale science and technology.
Effective start/end date9/15/189/14/21


  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-18-1-0493)

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