Nondestructive measurements of the mechanical and structural properties of nanostructured metalattices
Metalattices are artificial 3D solids, periodic on sub-100nm length scales, that enable the functional properties of materials to be tuned. However, because of their complex structure, predicting, and characterizing their properties is challenging. Here we demonstrate the first nondestructive measurements of the mechanical and structural properties of metalattices with feature sizes down to 14 nm. By monitoring the time-dependent diffraction of short wavelength light from laser-excited acoustic waves in the metalattices, we extract their acoustic dispersion, Young’s modulus, filling fraction, and thicknesses. Our measurements are in excellent agreement with macroscopic predictions and potentially destructive techniques such as nanoindentation and scanning electron microscopy, with increased accuracy over larger areas. This is interesting because the transport properties of these metalattices do not obey bulk predictions. Finally, this approach is the only way to validate the filling fraction of metalattices over macroscopic areas. These combined capabilities can enable accurate synthesis of nano-enhanced materials.
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