Elastic buckling of gradient thin films on compliant substrates


Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Spontaneous buckling of films with either a thickness gradient or a material gradient offers a new opportunity for creating a variety of non-uniform undulating surface features with wide potential applications. The fundamental buckling mechanisms are explored both numerically and analytically in this article. When the loading direction is perpendicular to the gradient direction, Y-branched wrinkled channels are formed. When the load is parallel to the gradient direction, a transition from local to global buckle is observed as the load increases, and the resulting wavelength and amplitude are non-uniform in the loading direction. An analytical model is established which can effectively predict the buckling characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-433
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Magazine Letters
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-CAREER-0643726) and by National Natural Science Foundation of China (50928601).


  • Deformation mechanisms
  • Finite-element modeling
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Pattern-related phenomena
  • Thin-film mechanics


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