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Peter Cendula's blog

Probing the intermediate states between rolling-up and wrinkling thin films

Self-positioned nanomembranes such as rolled-up tubes and wrinkled thin films have been potential systems for a variety of applications and basic studies on elastic properties of nanometer-thick systems. Although there is a clear driving force towards elastic energy minimization in each system, the exploration of intermediate states where specific characteristics could be chosen by a slight modification of a processing parameter had not been experimentally realized.

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Cardboard rolls on the nanoscale

Everybody knows that cardboard paper can be a highly
anisotropic material. You can easily bend or roll it in one direction
and it is stiff in the other. If you take a close look you will find
that the paper is periodically buckled along one direction. We have now
exploited this phenomenon on the nanoscale to define the roll-up
direction of ultra-thin membranes on a substrate surface.

Bending and wrinkling as competing relaxation pathways for strained free-hanging films

A thin film subject to compressive strain can either bend (for large strain gradient) or wrinkle (for small strain gradient). The bending is traditionally used in thermostats (bimetal stripes), but couple of years ago, it was extended to the nanoscale thin films which can bend and roll-up to tubes with defined number of rotations. The wrinkles are also rather common in macro- and microscale thin films.
Here, we developed an equilibrium phase diagram for the shape of
compressively strained free-hanging films by total strain energy
minimization.

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