Lightweight, Flaw-Tolerant, and Ultrastrong Nanoarchitected Carbon
Journal Article - Open Access
California Institute of Technology Pasadena United States
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It has been a long-standing challenge in modern material design to create low-density, lightweight materials that are simultaneously robust against defects and can withstand extreme thermomechanical environments, as these properties are often mutually exclusive The lower the density, the weaker and more fragile the material. Here, we develop a process to create nanoarchitected carbon that can attain specific strength strength-to-density ratio up to one to three orders of magnitude above that of existing micro- and nanoarchitected materials. We use two-photon lithography followed by pyrolysis in a vacuum at 900 C to fabricate pyrolytic carbon in two topologies, octet- and iso-truss, with unit-cell dimensions of2 m, beam diameters between 261 nm and 679 nm, and densities of 0.24 to 1.0 gcm3. Experiments and simulations demonstrate that for densities higher than 0.95 gcm3 the nanolattices become insensitive to fabrication-induced defects, allowing them to attain nearly theoretical strength of the constituent material. The combination of high specific strength, low density, and extensive deformability before failure lends such nanoarchitected carbon to being a particularly promising candidate for applications under harsh thermomechanicalenvironments.
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