Ordered cellular solids have higher compressive yield strength and stiffness compared to stochastic foams. The mechanical properties of cellular solids depend on their relative density and follow structural scaling laws. These scaling laws assume the mechanical properties of the constituent materials, like modulus and yield strength, to be constant and dictate that equivalent-density cellular solids made from the same material should have identical mechanical properties. We present the fabrication and mechanical properties of three-dimensional hollow gold nanolattices whose compressive responses demonstrate that strength and stiffness vary as a function of geometry and tube wall thickness. All nanolattices had octahedron geometry, a constant relative density, ρ ∼ 5%, a unit cell size of 5–20 μm, and a constant grain size in the Au film of 25–50 nm. Structural effects were explored by increasing the unit cell angle from 30 deg to 60 deg while keeping all other parameters constant; material size effects were probed by varying the tube wall thickness, t, from 200 nm to 635 nm, at a constant relative density and grain size. In situ uniaxial compression experiments revealed an order of magnitude increase in yield stress and modulus in nanolattices with greater lattice angles, and a 150% increase in the yield strength without a concomitant change in modulus in thicker-walled nanolattices for fixed lattice angles. These results imply that independent control of structural and material size effects enables tunability of mechanical properties of three-dimensional architected metamaterials and highlight the importance of material, geometric, and microstructural effects in small-scale mechanics.

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