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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Apr 13;98(15):156103. Epub 2007 Apr 13.

Capillary origami: spontaneous wrapping of a droplet with an elastic sheet.

Author information

1
Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes, ESPCI, Paris 6, Paris 7, UMR CNRS 7636, 75231 Paris cedex 5, France.

Abstract

The interaction between elasticity and capillarity is used to produce three-dimensional structures through the wrapping of a liquid droplet by a planar sheet. The final encapsulated 3D shape is controlled by tailoring the initial geometry of the flat membrane. Balancing interfacial energy with elastic bending energy provides a critical length scale below which encapsulation cannot occur, which is verified experimentally. This length is found to depend on the thickness as h3/2, a scaling favorable to miniaturization which suggests a new way of mass production of 3D micro- or nanoscale objects.

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