Mechanical properties of materials have long been one of the most fundamental and studied areas of materials science for a myriad of applications. Recently, mechanical metamaterials have been shown to possess extraordinary effective properties, such as negative dynamic modulus and/or density, phononic bandgaps, superior thermoelectric properties, and high specific energy absorption. To obtain such materials on appropriate length scales to enable novel mechanical devices, it is often necessary to effectively design and fabricate micro-/nano- structured materials. In this Review, various aspects of the micro-/nano-structured materials as mechanical metamaterials, potential tools for their multidimensional fabrication, and selected methods for their structural and performance characterization are described, as well as some prospects for the future developments in this exciting and emerging field.
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