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Molecular to macroscale energy absorption mechanisms in biological body armour illuminated by scanning X-ray diffraction with in situ compression

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.0c02879 DOI Help

Authors: Yi Zhang (Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Science; Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY) , Jan Garrevoet (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY) , Yanhong Wang (Queen Mary University of London) , Jan Torben Roeh (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY) , Nicholas J. Terrill (Diamond Light Source) , Gerald Falkenberg (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY) , Yuhui Dong (Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Science) , Himadri S. Gupta (Queen Mary, University of London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Nano

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9893

Abstract: Determining multiscale, concurrent strain and deformation mechanisms in hierarchical biological materials is a crucial engineering goal, to understand structural optimization strategies in Nature. However, experimentally characterizing complex strain and displacement fields within a 3D hierarchical composite, in a multiscale full-field manner, is challenging. Here, we determined the in-situ strains at the macro-, meso- and molecular-levels in stomatopod cuticle simultaneously, by exploiting the anisotropy of the 3D fibre diffraction coupled with sample rotation. The results demonstrate the method, using the mineralized 3D α-chitin fibre networks as strain sensors, can capture sub-micron deformation of a single lamella (mesoscale), can extract strain information of multiple constituents concurrently, and shows that α-chitin fibre networks deform elastically while the surrounding matrix deforms plastically before systematic failure under compression. Further, the results demonstrate a molecular-level pre-strain gradient in chitin fibres, resulting from different mineralization degrees in the exo- and endo cuticle.

Journal Keywords: nanofibre networks; chitin-based biomaterials; nanoscale mechanics; in situ synchrotron wide-angle x-ray diffraction; fibrillar deformation; arthropod cuticle

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Materials, Technique Development

Instruments: I22-Small angle scattering & Diffraction

Other Facilities: P06 at PETRA III DESY.