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Creators/Authors contains: "Zhao, Zhi"

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  1. Abstract The properties of materials and structures typically remain fixed after being designed and manufactured. There is a growing interest in systems with the capability of altering their behaviors without changing geometries or material constitutions, because such reprogrammable behaviors could unlock multiple functionalities within a single design. We introduce an optimization-driven approach, based on multi-objective magneto-mechanical topology optimization, to design magneto-active metamaterials and structures whose properties can be seamlessly reprogrammed by switching on and off the external stimuli fields. This optimized material system exhibits one response under pure mechanical loading, and switches to a distinct response under joint mechanical and magnetic stimuli. We discover and experimentally demonstrate magneto-mechanical metamaterials and metastructures that realize a wide range of reprogrammable responses, including multi-functional actuation responses, adaptable snap-buckling behaviors, switchable deformation modes, and tunable bistability. The proposed approach paves the way for promising applications such as magnetic actuators, soft robots, and energy harvesters. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Abstract Buckling, a phenomenon historically considered undesirable, has recently been harnessed to enable innovative functionalities in materials and structures. While approaches to achieve specific buckling behaviors are widely studied, tuning these behaviors in fabricated structures without altering their geometry remains a major challenge. Here, we introduce an inverse design approach to tune buckling behavior in magnetically active structures through the variation of applied magnetic stimuli. Our proposed magneto-mechanical topology optimization formulation not only generates the geometry and magnetization distribution of these structures but also informs how the external magnetic fields should be applied to control their buckling behaviors. By utilizing the proposed strategy, we discover magnetically active structures showcasing a broad spectrum of tunable buckling mechanisms, including programmable peak forces and buckling displacements, as well as controllable mechano- and magneto-induced bistability. Furthermore, we experimentally demonstrate that multiple unit designs can be assembled into architectures, resulting in tunable multistability and programmable buckling sequences under distinct applied magnetic fields. By employing a hybrid fabrication method, we manufacture and experimentally validate the generated designs and architectures, confirming their ability to exhibit precisely programmed and tunable buckling behaviors. This research contributes to the advancement of multifunctional materials and structures that harness buckling phenomena, unlocking transformative potential for various applications, including robotics, energy harvesting, and deployable and reconfigurable devices. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  4. Arabidopsis RESISTANCE TO POWDERY MILDEW 8.2 (RPW8.2) is specifically induced by the powdery mildew (PM) fungus (Golovinomyces cichoracearum) in the infected epidermal cells to activate immunity. However, the mechanism of RPW8.2-induction is not well understood. Here, we identify a G. cichoracearum effector that interacts with RPW8.2, named Gc-RPW8.2 interacting protein 1 (GcR8IP1), by a yeast two-hybrid screen of an Arabidopsis cDNA library. GcR8IP1 physically associated with RPW8.2 with its RING finger domain that is essential and sufficient for the association. GcR8IP1 was secreted and translocated into the nucleus of host cell infected with PM. Association of GcR8IP1 with RPW8.2 led to an increase of RPW8.2 in the nucleus. In turn, the nucleus-localised RPW8.2 promoted the activity of the RPW8.2 promoter, resulting in transcriptional self-amplification of RPW8.2 to boost immunity at infection sites. Additionally, ectopic expression or host-induced gene silencing of GcR8IP1 supported its role as a virulence factor in PM. Altogether, our results reveal a mechanism of RPW8.2-dependent defense strengthening via altered partitioning of RPW8.2 and transcriptional self-amplification triggered by a PM fungal effector, which exemplifies an atypical form of effector-triggered immunity. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 15, 2023
  5. Abstract

    Structural color printings have broad applications due to their advantages of long-term sustainability, eco-friendly manufacturing, and ultra-high resolution. However, most of them require costly and time-consuming fabrication processes from nanolithography to vacuum deposition and etching. Here, we demonstrate a new color printing technology based on polymer-assisted photochemical metal deposition (PPD), a room temperature, ambient, and additive manufacturing process without requiring heating, vacuum deposition or etching. The PPD-printed silver films comprise densely aggregated silver nanoparticles filled with a small amount (estimated <20% volume) of polymers, producing a smooth surface (roughness 2.5 nm) even better than vacuum-deposited silver films (roughness 2.8 nm) at ~4 nm thickness. Further, the printed composite films have a much larger effective refractive indexn(~1.90) and a smaller extinction coefficientk(~0.92) than PVD ones in the visible wavelength range (400 to 800 nm), therefore modulating the surface reflection and the phase accumulation. The capability of PPD in printing both ultra-thin (~5 nm) composite films and highly reflective thicker film greatly benefit the design and construction of multilayered Fabry–Perot (FP) cavity structures to exhibit vivid and saturated colors. We demonstrated programmed printing of complex pictures of different color schemes at a high spatial resolution of ~6.5 μm by three-dimensionally modulating the top composite film geometries and dielectric spacer thicknesses (75 to 200 nm). Finally, PPD-based color picture printing is demonstrated on a wide range of substrates, including glass, PDMS, and plastic, proving its broad potential in future applications from security labeling to color displays.

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