Bend me, shape me

Everyday manufacturing often requires the bending and shaping of metallic components. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland and the University of Washington in the US have now demonstrated that the same approach might be possible on the nanoscale, allowing them to shear, bend and stamp out metallic for nanotechnology components. Writing in the journal Advanced Materials, the team reveals how it observed irregular folding at the nanoscale and realized that this behavior in thin metal films might be exploited to construct three-dimensional structures with design. The phenomenon is akin to the formation of 3D structures by Asian chefs who slice vegetable thinly and produce beautiful flower-like shapes when the slices are placed in water. The researchers have found that a focused ion beam can do the job of the water with their metal slices.