The smectic order of wrinkles

Hillel Aharoni, Desislava V. Todorova, Octavio Albarran, Lucas Goehring, Randall D. Kamien, Eleni Katifori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A thin elastic sheet lying on a soft substrate develops wrinkled patterns when subject to an external forcing or as a result of geometric incompatibility. Thin sheet elasticity and substrate response equip such wrinkles with a global preferred wrinkle spacing length and with resistance to wrinkle curvature. These features are responsible for the liquid crystalline smectic-like behaviour of such systems at intermediate length scales. This insight allows better understanding of the wrinkling patterns seen in such systems, with which we explain pattern breaking into domains, the properties of domain walls and wrinkle undulation. We compare our predictions with numerical simulations and with experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15809
Number of pages7
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


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