Instabilities have long been treated as a failure mode in hard materials. Once the instability kicks in, the large deformation irreversible damage the hard materials that can only accommodate less than 1% elastic strain. In comparison, 100% elastic deformation is common for soft materials. Being able to reversible undergo large deformation makes instability an invaluable tool in designing soft structures. The highly nonlinear behavior of instability can be used to carry out complex functions that are impossible to realize with linear materials, such as logic operation, memory, pattern switching, etc.

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