Beyond hyperelasticity: a virgin land of extreme materials

& Training

Project Homepage

Research AreaHORIZON2020-PEOPLE-IDEAS-ERC-2021-AdG
Project ReferenceERC-ADG-2021-101052956-BEYOND
CoordinatorProf. Davide Bigoni
Project Funding2.47 million euro
Contract TypeERC Advanced Grant
Start Date2022-10-01
Duration60 months


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 medical applications.

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.

Principal Investigator:

Davide Bigoni


Research Team:

Francesco Dal CorsoLuca DeseriDiego MisseroniAndrea PiccolroazRoberta Springhetti

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

Technical Team:

Giacomo De Sero, Matteo La Mendola, Massimo Scandella

Administrative Staff:

Mirella Collini, Silvia Ubaldi

Post-Doc Students:

Matteo Gaibotti (From May 1, 2023 to February 9, 2024)

Luca Viviani (From August 1, 2022 to June 30, 2024)

Massimo Paradiso (From October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2024)

Panagiotis Koutsogiannakis (From January 1, 2023)

PhD Students:

Matteo Gaibotti (Until April 28, 2023)

Marco Amato (Until May 3, 2024)

Andrea Mirandola

Joel Harrop (From November 1, 2022)

Matteo Franzoi (From November 1, 2023)


Prof. Davide Bigoni
University of Trento, via Mesiano, 77 I-38123 Trento (Italy)

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