Active Surfaces and Interfaces of Soft Materials
A variety of intriguing surface patterns have been observed on developing natural systems, ranging from corrugated surface of white blood cells at nanometer scales to wrinkled dog skins at millimeter scales. To mimetically harness functionalities of natural morphologies, artificial transformative skin systems by using soft active materials have been rationally designed to generate versatile patterns for a variety of engineering applications. The study of the mechanics and design of these dynamic surface patterns on soft active materials are both physically interesting and technologically important.
This dissertation starts with studying abundant surface patterns in Nature by constructing a unified phase diagram of surface instabilities on soft materials with minimum numbers of physical parameters. Guided by this integrated phase diagram, an electroactive system is designed to investigate a variety of electrically-induced surface instabilities of elastomers, including electro-creasing, electro-cratering, electro-wrinkling and electro-cavitation. Combing experimental, theoretical and computational methods, the initiation, evolution and transition of these instabilities are analyzed. To apply these dynamic surface instabilities to serving engineering and biology, new techniques of Dynamic Electrostatic Lithography and electroactive anti-biofouling are demonstrated.
Soft active materials
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