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Publication 24

Analysis of a compressed thin film bonded to a compliant substrate: the energy scaling law


NYURobert V Kohn
Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
New York University

Hoai-Minh Nguyen
Department of Mathematics
University of Minnesota

We consider the deformation of a thin elastic lm bonded to a thick compliant substrate, when the (compressive) misfit is far beyond critical. We take a variational viewpoint - focusing on the total elastic energy, i.e. the membrane and bending energy of the film plus the elastic energy of the substrate -- viewing the buckling of the film as a problem of energy-driven pattern formation. We identify the scaling law of the minimum energy with respect to the physical parameters of the problem, and we prove that a herringbone pattern achieves the optimal scaling. These results complement previous numerical studies, which have shown that an optimized herringbone pattern has lower energy than a number of other patterns. Our results are di erent because (i) we make the scaling law achieved by the herringbone pattern explicit, and (ii) we give an elementary, ansatz-free proof that no pattern can achieve a better law.
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