About this Research Topic
Reconfigurable mesostructures whose shapes can be reversibly changed and stabilized between different configurations on demand provide promising alternatives to conventional devices with unique geometries, showing great advantages in multifunctionality, performance tunability and work continuity. Over the last two decades, the class of reconfiguration methods have been significantly expanded by the development of new active materials and micro fabrication techniques, enabling the structures to shrink further in size and respond to diverse external stimuli, thus opening up a wide range of important applications in many emerging engineering areas, from micro-electromechanical systems, to biomedical devices, to metamaterials and micro robots.
In order to fulfil the specific requirements, e.g., response time, biocompatibility, actuation force, and size scale of different applications, many such reconfigurable systems can be functional through active materials in strategic location, or design inspired by kirigami/origami. However, the intrinsic characteristics of materials, multi-field coupled deformation and geometric complexity bring formidable challenges in design and manufacture of the reconfigurable systems. Considerable efforts have been made in development of new reconfiguration methods, aiming to bypass the intrinsic limit of previous approaches. For instance, the reconfigurable structures by additive manufacturing with magnetic particles offer remote actuation, fast response, and high thermal stability, and represent an alternative option to optically actuated reconfiguration methods, which usually have low thermal stabilities. Another significant area of research interest for reconfigurable mesostructures is deformation control principles which play an important role in the inverse design and practical applications. Remarkable progresses have been made in detailed multi-field coupled model of these structures, either by finite element methods, or by molecular dynamics simulations.
This Research Topic intends to publish original research articles and review articles that investigate (but are not limited to) the following themes:
• Reconfiguration strategies and corresponding mechanisms for mesostructures.
• Fabrication schemes for active materials that can be actuated by external stimuli, such as heat, solvent, light, electric field, magnetic field, and mechanical field.
• Deformation control principles that predict the correlation between the geometric configuration and the property of stimuli.
• Practical applications for reconfigurable mesostructures, such as metamaterials, flexible sensors and soft robots.
Keywords: mesostructures, reconfiguration, multi-field coupling, deformation control, active materials
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