Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Elastic response and wrinkling onset of curved elastic membranes subjected to indentation test

  • 287 Accesses

  • 14 Citations


Starting from a polymeric-fluid droplet, by vulcanization of the fluid free surface, curved elastic membranes, several nanometers thick and a few millimeters in diameter, which enclose a constant fluid volume, are produced. In an indentation-type test, carried out by pushing the membrane along its normal by means of a micro-needle, under some conditions, wrinkles are likely to appear around the contact region. Interestingly, we observe that the instability does not significantly alter the force-displacement relation: the relation between the force and the displacement remains linear and the associated stiffness is simply proportional to the tension of the membrane. In addition, we determine that the wrinkles develop when the stretching modulus of the membrane compares with its tension, which provides a useful method to estimate the elastic constant.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1

    A.K. Harris, P. Wild, D. Stopak, Science 28, 177 (1980)

  2. 2

    E. Cerda, J. Biomech. 38, 1598 (2005)

  3. 3

    K. Burton, D.L. Taylor, Nature 393, 150 (1998)

  4. 4

    K.D. Hobart, J. Electron. Mater. 30, 797 (2001)

  5. 5

    P.A. O’Connell, G.B. McKenna, Eur. Phys. J. E 20, 143 (2006)

  6. 6

    E.P. Chan, A.J. Crosby, Adv. Mater. 18, 3238 (2006)

  7. 7

    V.D. Gordon, X. Chen, J.W. Hutchinson, A.R. Bausch, M.Marquez, D.A. Weitz, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126, 14121 (2004)

  8. 8

    S.J. Pastine, D.Okawa, A. Zettl, J. M.J. Fréchet, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, 13586 (2009)

  9. 9

    M.W. Keller, N.R. Sottos, Exp. Mech. 46, 725 (2006)

  10. 10

    E. Cerda, K. Ravi-Chandar, L. Mahadevan, Nature 419, 579 (2002)

  11. 11

    E. Cerda, L. Mahadevan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 1 (2003)

  12. 12

    J.-Ch. Géminard, R. Bernal, F. Melo, Eur. Phys. J. E 15, 117 (2004)

  13. 13

    J. Huang, M. Juszkiewicz, W.H. de Jeu, E. Cerda, T. Emrick, N. Menon, T.P. Russell, Science 317, 650 (2007)

  14. 14

    C.M. Stafford, C. Harrison, K.L. Beers, A. Karim, E.J. Amis, M.R. VanLandingham, H.-C. Kim, W. Volksen, R.D. Miller, E.E. Simonyi, Nat. Mater. 3, 545 (2004)

  15. 15

    R. Bernal, Ch. Tassius, J.-Ch. Géminard, F. Melo, Appl. Phys. Lett. 90, 063903 (2007)

  16. 16

    M. Li, S. Xu, E. Kumacheva, Macromolecules 33, 4972 (2000)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. Bernal.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bernal, R., Tassius, C., Melo, F. et al. Elastic response and wrinkling onset of curved elastic membranes subjected to indentation test. Eur. Phys. J. E 34, 13 (2011).

Download citation


  • PDMS
  • Indentation Test
  • Vulcanization
  • Initial Tension
  • Membrane Tension