Anisotropic Rolling and Controlled Chirality of Nanocrystalline Diamond Nanomembranes toward Biomimetic Helical Frameworks

Ziao Tian, Wen Huang, Borui Xu, Xiuling Li, Yongfeng Mei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Future advances in materials will be aided by improved dimensional control in fabrication of 3D hierarchical structures. Self-rolling technology provides additional degrees of freedom in 3D design by enabling an arbitrary rolling direction with controllable curvature. Here, we demonstrate that deterministic helical structures with variable rolling directions can be formed through releasing a strained nanomembrane patterned in a "utility knife" shape. The asymmetry of the membrane shape provides anisotropic driving force generated by the disparity between the etching rates along different sides in this asymmetric shape. A transient finite element method (FEM) model of diagonal rolling is established to analyze the relationships among geometries, elastic properties, and boundary conditions. On the basis of this model, a diamond-based helical framework consisting of two or three helical segments has been fabricated to mimic the shapes of natural plants. Further experiment has been done to extend this approach to other materials and material combinations, such as MoSe2/Cr, Cr/Pt, and VO2. To demonstrate the possible application accessible by our technology to new fields, VO2-based helical microscale actuation has been demonstrated with photocontrollable bending in a selected region, as well as morphable and recognizable helix. This study offers a new way to construct helical mesostructures that combine special properties of the advanced materials, thus possess novel features and potential applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3688-3694
Number of pages7
JournalNano letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 13 2018


  • Diamond
  • biomimics
  • helical actuation
  • morphable helices
  • rolled-up nanotechnology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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