A group led by Dr LI Jiangang of CAS Institute of Physics and comprising Chinese researchers from MIT and South China University of Technology used high-dose focused ion beam (FIB) as a “trimming” method of gold nanofilms. When the gold film is irradiated by FIB, the defects generated in the film and injected gallium ions induce different types of stress, and the structure reaches a new mechanical equilibrium state through closed-loop deformation under the intelligent guidance of its own morphology. Therefore, by designing different initial two-dimensional patterns, it is possible to realize three-dimensional structural deformation such as bending, rotation, and twisting downward or upward under the same scanning conditions. This method breaks through the limitations of traditional nano-processing methods such as bottom-up, top-down and self-assembly, and is a new type of three-dimensional nano-manufacturing technology. Combined with advances in contemporary materials and manufacturing, paper cutting and origami technology has been developed in many fields, including solar windsurfing folding technology for outer space vehicles, micro-nano electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), deformation architecture, performance-specific mechanical, biological and optical devices, and even DNA nano-cutting and folding technology.

CAS news release, July 12, 2018