Micro- and nanoscale tubular structures can be formed by strain-induced self-rolled-up nanomembranes. Precision engineering of the shape and dimension determines the performance of devices based on this platform for electronic, optical, and biological applications. A transient quasi-static finite element method (FEM) with moving boundary conditions is proposed as a general approach to design diverse types of three-dimensional (3D) rolled-up geometries. This method captures the dynamic release process of membranes through etching driven by mismatch strain and accurately predicts the final dimensions of rolled-up structures. Guided by the FEM modeling, experimental demonstration using silicon nitride membranes was achieved with unprecedented precision including controlling fractional turns of a rolled-up membrane, anisotropic rolling to form helical structures, and local stress control for 3D hierarchical architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6293-6297
Number of pages5
JournalNano letters
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 12 2014


  • finite element method
  • Geometry engineering
  • self-rolled-up nanomembrane tube
  • transient quasi-static

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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