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Delamination of stiff islands patterned on stretchable substrates
As another celebration of March Journal Club of Mechanics of Flexible Electronics, this paper has just been submitted.
In one design of flexible electronics, thin-film islands of a stiff material are fabricated on a polymeric substrate, and functional materials are grown on these islands. When the substrate is stretched, the deformation is mainly accommodated by the substrate, and the islands and functional materials experience relatively small strains. Experiments have shown that, however, for a given amount of stretch, the islands exceeding a certain size may delaminate from the substrate. We calculate the energy release rate using a combination of finite element method and complex variable method. Our results show that the energy release rate diminishes as the island size or substrate stiffness decreases. Consequently, the critical island size is large when the substrate is compliant. We also obtain an analytical expression for the energy release rate of debonding islands from a very compliant substrate.
Keywords: flexible electronics, island size, delamination, complex potential