PerspectiveMaterials Assembly

Designing two-dimensional materials that spring rapidly into three-dimensional shapes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6218, pp. 130-131
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa2643

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


One of the hallmarks of living organisms, including humans, is the ability to actively respond and adapt to stress. Even plants, which lack a nervous system, react to different stimuli by changing their shape. Some well-known examples are the wrinkled edges of leaves as a response to compression during growth, wrinkles of skin to accommodate flexing and bending movements or age-drying stresses, or the mimosa's rapid folding of its leaves via propagating waves of osmotic pressure when touched. Similar phenomena have been used in engineered artificial two-dimensional (2D) materials that can respond to external stimuli, but these applications typically are simple, slow, and work only along one dimension. On page 154 of this issue, Xu et al. (1) demonstrate a new paradigm of designing functional materials that can quickly snap into complex 3D architectures via localized buckling.