Large characteristic lengths in 3D chiral elastic metamaterials
T. Frenzel, V. Hahn, P. Ziemke, J.L.G. Schneider, Y. Chen, P. Kiefer, P. Gumbsch, and M. Wegener
Commun Mater. 2, 4 (2021)
- Date: 4.01.2021
Three-dimensional (3D) chiral mechanical metamaterials enable behaviors not accessible in ordinary materials. In particular, a coupling between displacements and rotations can occur, which is symmetry-forbidden without chirality. In this work, we solve three open challenges of chiral metamaterials. First, we provide a simple analytical model, which we use to rationalize the design of the chiral characteristic length. Second, using rapid multi-photon multi-focus 3D laser microprinting, we manufacture samples with more than 105 micrometer-sized 3D chiral unit cells. This number surpasses previous work by more than two orders of magnitude. Third, using analytical and numerical modeling, we realize chiral characteristic lengths of the order of ten unit cells, changing the sample-size dependence qualitatively and quantitatively. In the small-sample limit, the twist per axial strain is initially proportional to the sample side length, reaching a maximum at the characteristic length. In the thermodynamic limit, the twist per axial strain is proportional to the square of the characteristic length. We show that chiral micropolar continuum elasticity can reproduce this behavior.