Crack engineering for the construction of arbitrary hierarchical architectures

Wanbo Li, Miao Yu, Jing Sun, Kentaro Mochizuki, Siyu Chen, Huanxi Zheng, Jiaqian Li, Shuhuai Yao, Hongkai Wu, Beng S. Ong, Satoshi Kawata, Zuankai Wang, Kangning Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Three-dimensional hierarchical morphologies widely exist in natural and biomimetic materials, which impart preferential functions including liquid and mass transport, energy conversion, and signal transmission for various applications. While notable progress has been made in the design and manufacturing of various hierarchical materials, the state-of-the-art approaches suffer from limited materials selection, high costs, as well as low processing throughput. Herein, by harnessing the configurable elastic crack engineering—controlled formation and configuration of cracks in elastic materials—an effect normally avoided in various industrial processes, we report the development of a facile and powerful technique that enables the faithful transfer of arbitrary hierarchical structures with broad material compatibility and structural and functional integrity. Our work paves the way for the cost-effective, large-scale production of a variety of flexible, inexpensive, and transparent 3D hierarchical and biomimetic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23909-23914
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomimetic materials
  • Configurable elastic crack engineering
  • hierarchical structures
  • True 3D replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Crack engineering for the construction of arbitrary hierarchical architectures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this