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Mechanical Self-Assembly of a Strain-Engineered Flexible Layer: Wrinkling, Rolling, and Twisting

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Self-shaping of curved structures, especially those involving flexible thin layers, is attracting increasing attention because of their broad potential applications in, e.g., nanoelectromechanical andmicroelectromechanical systems, sensors, artificial skins, stretchable electronics, robotics, and drug delivery. Here, we provide an overview of recent experimental, theoretical, and computational studies on the mechanical selfassembly of strain-engineered thin layers, with an emphasis on systems in which the competition between bending and stretching energy gives rise to a variety of deformations, such as wrinkling, rolling, and twisting. We address the principle of mechanical instabilities, which is often manifested in wrinkling or multistability of strain-engineered thin layers. The principles of shape selection and transition in helical ribbons are also systematically examined. We hope that a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanical principles underlying these rich phenomena can foster the development of techniques for manufacturing functional three-dimensional structures on demand for a broad spectrum of engineering applications.

Link: http://journals.aps.org/prapplied/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevApplied.5.017001

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