This Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award will support fundamental research on the mechanical behavior of kirigami-based reconfigurable two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) structures. Very recently, kirigami, the ancient paper cutting art, has inspired emerging scientific research and engineering innovations, ranging from mechanical metamaterials, stretchable devices, and solar tracking, to self-assembled 3D meso-structures. However, it largely lacks the fundamental understanding of cut-structures determined macroscopic mechanical response of kirigami structures. This research program will establish a theoretical framework for connecting the macroscopic mechanical behavior and cuts-based microstructures in a new class of kirigami-based structures, which are reconfigurable in both 2D and 3D. The knowledge developed through this project will advance multiple technologies, including scaffolds for conformable and stretchable electronics, electronic skin, adaptive energy efficient building envelope, programmable soft machines, soft robots, and reconfigurable acoustic wave guides. The education and outreach objectives will align with the research goal in generating better understanding of mechanics and structure-determined properties and functionalities in kirigami structures. Programs at Temple and museums in Philadelphia will be used to broaden the participation of K-12 in STEM, including Women's Engineering Exploration summer program and STEM education department at Temple, as well as Science museum displays (Franklin Institute) and Art show (Philadelphia Museum of Art) in Philadelphia.

Kirigami-based 2D/3D structures will be constructed by applying designed cuts and/or folds to both planar sheets and bulk materials for actuation under forces or external stimuli. Systematic theoretical framework will be developed to predict the kinematics and constitutive modeling of 2D and 3D kirigami structures, with validation by numerical simulation, fabrication, and experimental testing. For 2D structures, a unified design of patterned cuts will account for both symmetric and non-symmetric deformation. The quantitative relationship between the overall mechanical properties and the geometry of localized cut structures will be determined through developed homogenization continuum model. 3D reconfigurable kirigami structures will be constructed from either (self-) folding of kirigami sheets or assembly of 3D cut polyhedron units as fundamental building blocks for architected structures. For 3D architected kirigami structures, their reconfigurability and mechanical properties will be determined by the deformation modes in localized 3D cut units. A theoretical framework will be developed to predict the overall deformation modes through mode analysis under both small and finite deformation.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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North Carolina State University Raleigh
United States
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