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Towards rationally designed active metamaterials

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DNMW03 - Optimal design of soft matter - including a celebration of Women in Materials Science (WMS)

Recent advances in 3D printing and lithography have spurred rapid progress in the development of passive metamaterials. By interweaving simple subunits in intricate geometric arrangements, metamaterials can be custom designed to have many remarkable response features, from acoustic and photonic band gaps to auxetic behavior and topological robustness. In parallel, the last few years have seen the introduction of new classes of artificial and bio-inspired active materials based on colloidal and microbial suspensions or internally actuated gels. These non-equilibrium systems show great promise as components in autonomous soft robotic and microfluidic devices, and have reached a level of understanding where these applications can now be fruitfully developed. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work that aims to implement a computational framework for the inverse design of discrete active metamaterials. Building a network-based description, we will illustrate how optimized material structures can be used to harvest energy from correlated fluctuations [1,2], and outline basic design principles for active topolectrical circuits [3]. [1] Woodhouse et al, Phys Rev Lett 121: 178001, 2018 [2] Ronellenfitsch et al, Phys Rev Lett 121: 208301, 2018 [3] Kotwal et al, arXiv:1903.10130

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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