Imagine the integration of large arrays of sensors and actuators into higher-order structures to optimize their performance. Imagine a material block that acts as a thermal and mechanical filter to prevent interference with sensitive measurement systems. Imagine a compact positioning unit which can assume and maintain a number of discrete positions with extreme precision and stability.
These, and similar, imaginations are within reach of application through the exploitation of Functional Material Structures which are 3D structures at the very small length scale, integrated with higher order-systems. Functional Material Structures (also known as metamaterials, smart materials) have properties which are unlike the properties of the constituent bulk material. The main challenge is to further develop these concepts to application-relevant functions, and manufacture these functions at industrially relevant cost per unit ratios. This program focuses on passive materials (properties given by design), active materials (tunable or adaptable properties), as well as new sensor and actuator concepts through the use of structured materials. Applications are found in integrated and distributed sensing, nano-positioning, and smart fluidics for personal and diagnostic health care devices.