Harnessing the interface mechanics of hard films and soft substrates for 3D assembly by controlled buckling

Yuan Liu, Xueju Wang, Yameng Xu, Zhaoguo Xue, Yi Zhang, Xin Ning, Xu Cheng, Yeguang Xue, Di Lu, Qihui Zhang, Fan Zhang, Jianxing Liu, Xiaogang Guo, Keh Chih Hwang, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers, Yihui Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Techniques for forming sophisticated 3D mesostructures in advanced functional materials are of rapidly growing interest owing to their potential uses across a broad range of fundamental and applied areas of application. Recently developed approaches to 3D assembly that rely on controlled buckling mechanics serve as versatile routes to 3D mesostructures in a diverse range of highquality materials and length scales of relevance for 3Dmicrosystems with unusual function and/or enhanced performance. Nonlinear buckling and delamination behaviors inmaterials that combine both weak and strong interfaces are foundational to the assembly process but they can be difficult to control especially for complex geometries. This paper presents theoretical and experimental studies of the fundamental aspects of adhesion and delamination in this context. By quantifying the effects of various essential parameters on these processes we establish general design diagrams for different material systems taking into account 4 dominant delamination states (wrinkling partial delamination of the weak interface full delamination of the weak interface and partial delamination of the strong interface). These diagrams provide guidelines for the selection of engineering parameters that avoid interface-related failure as demonstrated by a series of examples in 3D helical mesostructures and mesostructures that are reconfigurable based on the control of loading-path trajectories. Three-dimensional micromechanical resonators with frequencies that can be selected between 2 distinct values serve as demonstrative examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15368-15377
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number31
StatePublished - Jul 30 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-dimensional assembly
  • Buckling
  • Interface mechanics
  • Reconfigurable 3D structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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