Fully soft bistable mechanisms have shown extensive applications ranging from soft robotics, wearable devices, and medical tools, to energy harvesting. However, the lack of design and fabrication methods that are easy and potentially scalable limits their further adoption into mainstream applications. Herein, a top–down planar approach is presented by introducing Kirigami‐inspired engineering combined with a pre‐stretching process. Using this method, Kirigami‐Pre‐stretched Substrate‐Kirigami trilayered precursors are created in a planar manner; upon release, the strain mismatch—due to the pre‐stretching of substrate—between layers will induce an out‐of‐plane buckling to achieve targeted 3D bistable structures. By combining experimental characterization, analytical modeling, and finite element simulation, the effect of the pattern size of Kirigami layers and pre‐stretching on the geometry and stability of resulting 3D composites is explored. In addition, methods to realize soft bistable structures with arbitrary shapes and soft composites with multistable configurations are investigated, which may encourage further applications. This method is demonstrated by using bistable soft Kirigami composites to construct two soft machines: (i) a bistable soft gripper that can gently grasp delicate objects with different shapes and sizes and (ii) a flytrap‐inspired robot that can autonomously detect and capture objects.
Kirigami structures provide a promising approach to transform flat films into 3D complex structures that are difficult to achieve by conventional fabrication approaches. By designing the cutting geometry, it is shown that distinct buckling‐induced out‐of‐plane configurations can be obtained, separated by a sharp transition characterized by a critical geometric dimension of the structures. In situ electron microscopy experiments reveal the effect of the ratio between the in‐plane cut size and film thickness on out‐of‐plane configurations. Moreover, geometrically nonlinear finite element analyses (FEA) accurately predict the out‐of‐plane modes measured experimentally, their transition as a function of cut geometry, and provide the stress–strain response of the kirigami structures. The combined computational–experimental approach and results reported here represent a step forward in the characterization of thin films experiencing buckling‐induced out‐of‐plane shape transformations and provide a path to control 3D configurations of micro‐ and nanoscale buckling‐induced kirigami structures. The out‐of‐plane configurations promise great utility in the creation of micro‐ and nanoscale systems that can harness such structural behavior, such as optical scanning micromirrors, novel actuators, and nanorobotics. This work is of particular significance as the kirigami dimensions approach the sub‐micrometer scale which is challenging to achieve with conventional micro‐electromechanical system technologies.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Advanced Materials
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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