Beyond bifurcation, beyond instability, beyond even hyper-elasticity (!) there is an unexplored world of superior materials, capable of
introducing a high-tech revolution and even influencing our daily lives. Surpassing bifurcation and instability yields unprecedented
deformational capabilities and going beyond the concept of the elastic potential leads to materials capable of absorbing energy from
the environment in a closed cycle of deformation and releasing it upon request. The road to this new paradigm is the fusion of the
concepts of structural mechanics with the principles of solid mechanics, both brought to the highly nonlinear realm of extreme
deformation. This opens virgin territory, left unexplored since the 100-years-old definition of the elastic potential, which has been
treated until now as inviolable dogma. But structural engineers know structures capable of harvesting energy from the wind or
becoming dynamically unstable when subject to follower loads, so that the implantation of these structural concepts in microscale
form into a macroscopic solid leads to the creation of materials surpassing the concept of elastic potential and opening new horizons
in the design of new materials. Our recent work exhibited that a purely elastic and conservative system can experience flutter
instability. This strongly implies that an elastic solid can be devised that will exhibit this instability and violates hyper-elasticity.
Implementing these concepts at the microscale (with elements generating microscopic interactions to suck/deliver energy from/to
external sources) leads to architected materials which may harvest energy, or release it to move a mechanism, or propagate a signal
with amplification, or suffer a Hopf bifurcation and self-oscillate at designed frequency. This is an unexplored field where we expect
applications in metamaterials, locomotion devices, wearable technologies, sensors, or interacting devices for use in everyday life and
Views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or The European Research Council Executive Agency.
Neither the European Union nor The European Research Council Executive Agency can be held responsible for them.
Francesco Dal Corso
Dissemination Management Unit (DMU):
Francesco Dal Corso, Matteo La Mendola, Diego Misseroni
Graphic Advice and Social Media Influencing Team (GAS-MIT):
Francesco Biscaglia, Andrea Maglio, Niccolò Voltolini
Giacomo De Sero, Matteo La Mendola, Massimo Scandella