Kirigami Engineering—Nanoscale Structures Exhibiting a Range of Controllable 3D Configurations

Xu Zhang, Lior Medina, Haogang Cai, Vladimir Aksyuk, Horacio D. Espinosa, Daniel Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kirigami structures provide a promising approach to transform flat films into 3D complex structures that are difficult to achieve by conventional fabrication approaches. By designing the cutting geometry, it is shown that distinct buckling-induced out-of-plane configurations can be obtained, separated by a sharp transition characterized by a critical geometric dimension of the structures. In situ electron microscopy experiments reveal the effect of the ratio between the in-plane cut size and film thickness on out-of-plane configurations. Moreover, geometrically nonlinear finite element analyses (FEA) accurately predict the out-of-plane modes measured experimentally, their transition as a function of cut geometry, and provide the stress–strain response of the kirigami structures. The combined computational–experimental approach and results reported here represent a step forward in the characterization of thin films experiencing buckling-induced out-of-plane shape transformations and provide a path to control 3D configurations of micro- and nanoscale buckling-induced kirigami structures. The out-of-plane configurations promise great utility in the creation of micro- and nanoscale systems that can harness such structural behavior, such as optical scanning micromirrors, novel actuators, and nanorobotics. This work is of particular significance as the kirigami dimensions approach the sub-micrometer scale which is challenging to achieve with conventional micro-electromechanical system technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2005275
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • kirigami
  • membranes
  • nanofabrication
  • nanomechanics
  • nonlinearity
  • symmetry breaking

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Kirigami Engineering—Nanoscale Structures Exhibiting a Range of Controllable 3D Configurations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this