Manufacturing ultralight and mechanical reliable materials has been a long-time challenge. Ceramic-based mechanical metamaterials provide significant opportunities to reverse their brittle nature and unstable mechanical properties and have great potential as strong, ultralight, and ultrastiff materials. However, the failure of ceramics nanolattice and degradation of strength/modulus with decreasing density are caused by buckling of the struts and failure of the nodes within the nanolattices, especially during cyclic loading. Here, we explore a new class of 3D ceramic-based metamaterials with a high strength–density ratio, stiffness, recoverability, cyclability, and optimal scaling factor. Deformation mode of the fabricated nanolattices has been engineered through the unique material design and architecture tailoring. Bending-dominated hollow nanolattice (B-H-Lattice) structure is employed to take advantages of its flexibility, while a few nanometers of carbonized mussel-inspired bio-polymer (C-PDA) is coherently deposited on ceramics’ nanolayer to enable non-buckling struts and bendable nodes during deformation, resulting in reliable mechanical properties and outperforming the current bending-dominated lattices (B-Lattices) and carbon-based cellulose materials. Meanwhile, the structure has comparable stiffness to stretching-dominated lattices (S-Lattices) while with better cyclability and reliability. The B-H-Lattices exhibit high specific stiffness (>106?Pa·kg-1·m-3), low-density (~30?kg/m3), buckling-free recovery at 55% strain, and stable cyclic loading behavior under up to 15% strain. As one of the B-Lattices, the modulus scaling factor reaches 1.27, which is lowest among current B-Lattices. This study suggests that non-buckling behavior and reliable nodes are the key factors that contribute to the outstanding mechanical performance of nanolattice materials. A new concept of engineering the internal deformation behavior of mechanical metamaterial is provided to optimize their mechanical properties in real service conditions.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2018.03.027