Grating-structured metallic microsprings†
We fabricate grating-structured metallic microsprings with well-defined helical angles and diameters, which are self-rolled from strained nanomembranes patterned with gratings. The grating structures on the metal membrane, replicated from the imprinted polymer layer beneath, give rise to the controlled rolling direction after selective etching of the underlying sacrificial layer. The rolling direction of the grating-structured thin metal film is always perpendicular to the long side edge of gratings, offering a good way to roll up strained strips into well controlled three-dimensional (3D) microsprings simply by altering the dimension and orientation of the structured strips. The mechanical elasticity of these grating-structured metallic microsprings is verified for the potential application as a flow rate sensor. Our work may stimulate rigorous synthesis of highly functional and complex 3D helical micro and nanostructures, and hint a broad range of applications such as environmental sensors, micro-/nanoscale robots, metamaterials, etc.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Helical Micro- and Nanostructures