Mar 12, 2023

Knots smaller than human hair make materials unusually tough

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

In the latest advance in nano-and micro-architected materials, engineers at Caltech have developed a new material made from numerous interconnected microscale knots.

The make the material far tougher than identically structured but unknotted materials: they absorb more energy and are able to deform more while still being able to return to their original shape undamaged. These new knotted materials may find applications in biomedicine as well as in aerospace applications due to their durability, possible biocompatibility, and extreme deformability.

“The capability to overcome the general trade-off between material deformability and tensile toughness [the ability to be stretched without breaking] offers new ways to design devices that are extremely flexible, durable, and can operate in ,” says former Caltech graduate student Widianto P. Moestopo, now at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Moestopo is the lead author of a paper on the nanoscale knots that was published on March 8 in Science Advances.

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