Mechanics of large folds in thin interfacial films

Vincent Démery, Benny Davidovitch, Christian D. Santangelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A thin film confined to a liquid interface responds to uniaxial compression by wrinkling, and then by folding, that has been solved exactly before self-contact. Here, we address the mechanics of large folds, i.e., folds that absorb a length much larger than the wrinkle wavelength. With scaling arguments and numerical simulations, we show that the antisymmetric fold is energetically favorable and can absorb any excess length at zero pressure. Then, motivated by puzzles arising in the comparison of this simple model to experiments on lipid monolayers or capillary rafts, we discuss how to incorporate film weight, self-adhesion, or energy dissipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042401
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 14 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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