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  1. Printed low-density materials form microrobots capable of high-speed motion, force output, and self-sensing feedback.
  2. Abstract

    Reconfigurable beam steering components are indispensable to support optical and photonic network systems operating with high adaptability and with various functions. Currently, almost all such components are made of solid parts whose structures are rigid, and hence their functions are difficult to be reconfigured. Also, optical concentration beam steering is still a very challenging problem compared to radio frequency/microwave steering. Here we show a watermill-like beam steering system that can adaptively guide concentrating optical beam to targeted receivers. The system comprises a liquid droplet actuation mechanism based on electrowetting-on-dielectric, a superlattice-structured rotation hub, and an enhanced optical reflecting membrane. The specular reflector can be adaptively tuned within the lateral orientation of 360°, and the steering speed can reach ~353.5° s−1. This work demonstrates the feasibility of driving a macro-size solid structure with liquid microdroplets, opening a new avenue for developing reconfigurable components such as optical switches in next-generation sensor networks.

  3. Ceramics are an important class of materials with widespread applications because of their high thermal, mechanical, and chemical stability. Computational predictions based on first principles methods can be a valuable tool in accelerating materials discovery to develop improved ceramics. It is essential to experimentally confirm the material properties of such predictions. However, materials screening rates are limited by the long processing times and the poor compositional control from volatile element loss in conventional ceramic sintering techniques. To overcome these limitations, we developed an ultrafast high-temperature sintering (UHS) process for the fabrication of ceramic materials by radiative heating under an inert atmosphere. We provide several examples of the UHS process to demonstrate its potential utility and applications, including advancements in solid-state electrolytes, multicomponent structures, and high-throughput materials screening.