Deterministic assembly of 3D mesostructures in advanced materials via compressive buckling: A short review of recent progress

Zheng Yan, Mengdi Han, Yiyuan Yang, Kewang Nan, Haiwen Luan, Yiyue Luo, Yihui Zhang, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Nearly all micro/nanosystems found in biology have function that is intrinsically enabled by hierarchical, three-dimensional (3D) designs. Compelling opportunities exist in exploiting similar 3D architectures in man-made devices for applications in biomedicine, sensing, energy storage and conversion, electronics and many other areas of advanced technology. Although a lack of practical routes to the required 3D layouts has hindered progress to date, recent advances in mechanically-guided 3D assembly have the potential to provide the required access to wide-ranging structural geometries, across a broad span of length scales, in a way that leverages the most sophisticated materials and design concepts that exist in state-of-the-art 2D microsystems. This review summaries the key concepts and illustrates their use in four major categories of 3D mesostructures: open filamentary frameworks, mixed structures of membranes/filaments (Kirigami-inspired structures), folded constructs (Origami-inspired structures) and overlapping, nested and entangled networks. The content includes not only previously published examples, but also several additional illustrative cases. A collection of 3D starfish-like and jellyfish-like structures with critical dimensions that span nearly a factor of ten million, from one hundred nanometers to nearly one meter, demonstrates the scalability of the process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalExtreme Mechanics Letters
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • 3D mesostructures
  • Advanced materials
  • Compressive buckling
  • Deterministic assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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