Origami Mechanical Metamaterials
In addition to making beautiful art, folding 2D materials can be used to tune mechanical properties and create novel three-dimensional structures. Because the mathematical description of origami is scale-free, folding principles can be applied to materials over a vast range of spatial scales.
We envision the next generation of nanotechnology as machines that are active at time and length scales comparable to biological microorganisms. These machines will be able to change shape in fractions of a second in response to environmental cues, carry electronics, be fabricated en mass using standard semiconductor processing techniques, and cost less than a cent per machine. The key breakthrough behind this future? Autonomous origami machines made with atomically thin paper.