Swelling-induced deformations: A materials-defined transition from macroscale to microscale deformations

Anupam Pandey, Douglas P. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Swelling-induced deformations are common in many biological and industrial environments, and the shapes and patterns that emerge can vary across many length scales. Here we present an experimental study of a transition between macroscopic structural bending and microscopic surface creasing in elastomeric beams swollen non-homogeneously with favorable solvents. We show that this transition is dictated by the materials and geometry of the system, and we develop a simple scaling model based on competition between bending and swelling energies that predicts if a given solvent droplet would deform a polymeric structure macroscopically or microscopically. We demonstrate how proper tuning of materials and geometry can generate instabilities at multiple length scales in a single structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5524-5528
Number of pages5
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 21 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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