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Rational Design of Mechano-Responsive Optical Materials by Fine Tuning the Evolution of Strain-Dependent Wrinkling Patterns

Authors

  • Philseok Kim,

    Corresponding author
    • Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Yuhang Hu,

    1. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Jack Alvarenga,

    1. Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Mathias Kolle,

    1. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Zhigang Suo,

    1. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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  • Joanna Aizenberg

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Kavli Institute for Bionano Science and Technology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
    • Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
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E-mail: philseok.kim@wyss.harvard.edu, jaiz@seas.harvard.edu

Abstract

Rational design strategies for mechano-responsive optical material systems are created by introducing a simple experimental system that can continuously vary the state of bi-axial stress to induce various wrinkling patterns, including stripes, labyrinths, herringbones, and rarely observed checkerboards, that can dynamically tune the optical properties. In particular, a switching of two orthogonally oriented stripe wrinkle patterns from oxidized polydimethylsiloxane around the critical strain value is reported, as well as the coexistence of these wrinkles forming elusive checkerboard patterns, which are predicted only in previous simulations. These strain-induced wrinkle patterns give rise to dynamic changes in optical transmittance and diffraction patterns. A theoretical description of the observed pattern formation is presented which accounts for the residual stress in the membrane and allows for the fine-tuning of the window of switching of the orthogonal wrinkles. Applications of wrinkle-induced changes in optical properties are demonstrated, including a mechanically responsive instantaneous privacy screen and a transparent sheet that reversibly reveals a message or graphic and dynamically switches the transmittance when stretched and released.

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