Magnetoelastic instability in soft thin films
Ferromagnetic particles are incorporated in a thin soft elastic matrix. A lamella, made of this smart material, is studied experimentally and modeled. We show herein that thin films can be actuated using an external magnetic field applied through the system. The system is found to be switchable since subcritical pitchfork bifurcation is discovered in the beam shape when the magnetic field orientation is modified. Strong magnetoelastic effects can be obtained depending on both field strength and orientation. Our results provide versatile ways to contribute to many applications from the microfabrication of actuators to soft robotics. As an example, we created a small synthetic octopus piloted by an external magnetic field.