Mechanical self-assembly and multistability in thin structures

Mechanical forces play important roles in the generation of shapes in many natural and engineering systems. Although mechanical instability has traditionally been perceived as a failure mechanism, actively employing instability to control shape formation has been commonplace. Our group combines experiments, theoretical modeling, and simulations to systematically study the mechanics of self-assembly and multistabilities in thin structures at multiple length scales to address emerging problems at the interface of mechanical engineering, material science, physics, and applied mathematics. Moreover, a set of bio-inspired multistable structures will be designed using different mechanisms that need to be examined. In addition, controlled experiments and simulations will be carried out to explore the multistability of strained nanostructures.

Faculty contact: Zi Chen