Mechanically Guided Hierarchical Assembly of 3D Mesostructures

Hangbo Zhao, Xu Cheng, Changsheng Wu, Tzu Li Liu, Qinai Zhao, Shuo Li, Xinchen Ni, Shenglian Yao, Mengdi Han, Yonggang Huang*, Yihui Zhang*, John A. Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


3D, hierarchical micro/nanostructures formed with advanced functional materials are of growing interest due to their broad potential utility in electronics, robotics, battery technology, and biomedical engineering. Among various strategies in 3D micro/nanofabrication, a set of methods based on compressive buckling offers wide-ranging material compatibility, fabrication scalability, and precise process control. Previously reports on this type of approach rely on a single, planar prestretched elastomeric platform to transform thin-film precursors with 2D layouts into 3D architectures. The simple planar configuration of bonding sites between these precursors and their assembly substrates prevents the realization of certain types of complex 3D geometries. In this paper, a set of hierarchical assembly concepts is reported that leverage multiple layers of prestretched elastomeric substrates to induce not only compressive buckling of 2D precursors bonded to them but also of themselves, thereby creating 3D mesostructures mounted at multiple levels of 3D frameworks with complex, elaborate configurations. Control over strains used in these processes provides reversible access to multiple different 3D layouts in a given structure. Examples to demonstrate these ideas through both experimental and computational results span vertically aligned helices to closed 3D cages, selected for their relevance to 3D conformal bio-interfaces and multifunctional microsystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2109416
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 24 2022


  • 3D fabrication
  • buckling
  • hierarchical structures
  • kirigami
  • origami

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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