Bottom-up Synthesis of Bio-inspired Hierarchical Materials via Three-Dimensional Ink-Jet Printing

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Micrographs show random alignment of particles of various types when there is no acoustic excitation, and strong particle alignment and packing when excited at frequencies in the MHz range: (a,b) glass spheres, (c,d) glass microrods, (e,f) microfabricated SU-8 bricks.

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The proposed program will investigate acoustic focusing forces to align anisotropic particles in solution, and transport them through a microfluidic channel while preserving the ordering of those particles. This is an important step towards developing additive manufacturing techniques for two-phase, ordered composites that mimic biological (exoskeleton) material, which combine compliant and stiff materials to produce macroscopic properties that defeat traditional trade-offs between strength, weight and energy absorption.



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