Micro-Structured Two-Component 3D Metamaterials with Negative Thermal-Expansion Coefficient from Positive Constituents
J. Qu, M. Kadic, A. Naber, and M. Wegener
Sci. Rep. 7, 40643 (2017)
- Date: 12.01.2017
Controlling the thermal expansion of materials is of great technological importance. Uncontrolled thermal expansion can lead to failure or irreversible destruction of structures and devices. In ordinary crystals, thermal expansion is governed by the asymmetry of the microscopic binding potential, which cannot be adjusted easily. In artificial crystals called metamaterials, thermal expansion can be controlled by structure. Here, following previous theoretical work, we fabricate three-dimensional (3D) two-component polymer micro-lattices by using gray-tone laser lithography. We perform cross-correlation analysis of optical microscopy images taken at different sample temperatures. The derived displacement-vector field reveals that the thermal expansion and resulting bending of the bi-material beams leads to a rotation of the 3D chiral crosses arranged onto a 3D checkerboard pattern within one metamaterial unit cell. These rotations can compensate the expansion of the all positive constituents, leading to an effectively near-zero thermal length-expansion coefficient, or over-compensate the expansion, leading to an effectively negative thermal length-expansion coefficient. This evidences a striking level of thermal-expansion control.