Acta Mechanica Sinica

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 575–584 | Cite as

Optomechanical soft metamaterials

  • Xiangjun Peng
  • Wei He
  • Yifan Liu
  • Fengxian Xin
  • Tian Jian Lu
Research Paper


We present a new type of optomechanical soft metamaterials, which is different from conventional mechanical metamaterials, in that they are simple isotropic and homogenous materials without resorting to any complex nano/microstructures. This metamaterial is unique in the sense that its responses to uniaxial forcing can be tailored by programmed laser inputs to manifest different nonlinear constitutive behaviors, such as monotonic, S-shape, plateau, and non-monotonic snapping performance. To demonstrate the novel metamaterial, a thin sheet of soft material impinged by two counterpropagating lasers along its thickness direction and stretched by an in-plane tensile mechanical force is considered. A theoretical model is formulated to characterize the resulting optomechanical behavior of the thin sheet by combining the nonlinear elasticity theory of soft materials and the optical radiation stress theory. The optical radiation stresses predicted by the proposed model are validated by simulations based on the method of finite elements. Programmed optomechanical behaviors are subsequently explored using the validated model under different initial sheet thicknesses and different optical inputs, and the first- and second-order tangential stiffness of the metamaterial are used to plot the phase diagram of its nonlinear constitutive behaviors. The proposed optomechanical soft metamaterial shows great potential in biological medicine, microfluidic manipulation, and other fields.


Optomechanics Soft metamaterial Optical radiation stress Programmable constitutive relation 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant 51528501) and the Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities (Grant 2014qngz12).


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics; Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangjun Peng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei He
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yifan Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fengxian Xin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tian Jian Lu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical StructuresXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.MOE Key Laboratory for Multifunctional Materials and StructuresXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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