Mechanical metamaterials with negative compressibility transitions

Zachary G. Nicolaou*, Adilson E. Motter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations

Abstract

When tensioned, ordinary materials expand along the direction of the applied force. Here, we explore network concepts to design metamaterials exhibiting negative compressibility transitions, during which a material undergoes contraction when tensioned (or expansion when pressured). Continuous contraction of a material in the same direction of an applied tension, and in response to this tension, is inherently unstable. The conceptually similar effect we demonstrate can be achieved, however, through destabilizations of (meta)stable equilibria of the constituents. These destabilizations give rise to a stress-induced solid-solid phase transition associated with a twisted hysteresis curve for the stress-strain relationship. The strain-driven counterpart of negative compressibility transitions is a force amplification phenomenon, where an increase in deformation induces a discontinuous increase in response force. We suggest that the proposed materials could be useful for the design of actuators, force amplifiers, micromechanical controls, and protective devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-613
Number of pages6
JournalNature materials
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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