Finite width effect of thin-films buckling on compliant substrate: Experimental and theoretical studies

Hanqing Jiang, Dahl Young Khang, Huiyang Fei, Hoonsik Kim, Yonggang Huang, Jianliang Xiao, John A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Scopus citations


Buckling of stiff thin films on compliant substrates has many important applications ranging from stretchable electronics to precision metrology and sensors. Mechanics plays an indispensable role in the fundamental understanding of such systems. Some existing mechanics models assume plane-strain deformation, which do not agree with experimental observations for narrow thin films. Systematic experimental and analytical studies are presented in this paper for finite-width stiff thin films buckling on compliant substrates. Both experiments and analytical solution show that the buckling amplitude and wavelength increase with the film width. The analytical solution agrees very well with experiments and therefore provides valuable guide to the precise design and control of the buckling profile in many applications. The effect of film spacing is studied via the analytical solutions for two thin films and for periodic thin films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2585-2598
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008



  • Buckling
  • Compliant substrate
  • Film width
  • Stretchable electronics
  • Thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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