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Growing Metamaterials

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

2:30pm – 3:45pm

Virtual via zoom (register by clicking here), Virginia Tech Campus

Nick Boechler

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

University of California, San Diego


In very general terms, metamaterials are composite materials that have been shown to yield novel properties that stem from their underlying, designed microstructure. Within mechanical and acoustic metamaterial contexts, the length scale of the metamaterialʼs microstructure is often required to be small (10-3–10-8 m), while the overall materialʼs size needs to be large (100–10-3 m). This dichotomy presents a fundamental challenge from a manufacturing perspective, and inspires the questions that will be addressed in this talk, namely: can metamaterials be grown? If so, how, in contrast to metamaterials with macroscale structure, should our models describing their mechanical behavior be modified to account for physical phenomena that become more important as length scales are reduced? Studies of two “grown” acoustic metamaterials will be presented: one made from microspheres and the other from onion.


Nick Boechler is an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. He was raised in Virginia, received his B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology, obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the recipient of the Army Research Office and Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program awards.