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Capillary wrinkling of elastic membranes D. Vella1,2

Summary: Capillary wrinkling of elastic membranes
D. Vella1,2
, M. Adda-Bedia2
, E. Cerda3
ITG, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics,
University of Cambridge, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge, CB3 0WA, UK
Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Ecole Normale Sup´erieure, UPMC Paris 06,
Universit´e Paris Diderot, CNRS, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris, France
Departamento de F´isica, Universidad de Santiago, Av. Ecuador 3493, Santiago, Chile
We present a physically-based model for the deformation of a floating elastic membrane caused by
the presence of a liquid drop. Starting from the equations of membrane theory modified to account
for surface energies, we show that the presence of a liquid drop causes an azimuthal compression
over a finite region. This explains the origin of the wrinkling of such membranes observed recently
[J. Huang et al., Science 317, 650 2007] and suggests a single parameter that determines the extent
of the wrinkled region. While experimental data supports the importance of this single parameter,
our theory under-predicts the extent of the wrinkled region observed experimentally. We suggest
that this discrepancy is likely to be due to the wrinkling observed here being far from threshold.


Source: Adda-Bedia, Mokhtar - Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, Département de Physique, École Normale Supérieure


Collections: Physics