Programmable mechanical metamaterials

Phys Rev Lett. 2014 Oct 24;113(17):175503. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.175503. Epub 2014 Oct 24.


We create mechanical metamaterials whose response to uniaxial compression can be programmed by lateral confinement, allowing monotonic, nonmonotonic, and hysteretic behavior. These functionalities arise from a broken rotational symmetry which causes highly nonlinear coupling of deformations along the two primary axes of these metamaterials. We introduce a soft mechanism model which captures the programmable mechanics, and outline a general design strategy for confined mechanical metamaterials. Finally, we show how inhomogeneous confinement can be explored to create multistability and giant hysteresis.