Adhesion-induced fingering instability in thin elastic films under strain
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In this study, thin elastic films supported on a rigid substrate are brought into contact with a spherical glass indenter. Upon contact, adhesive fingers emerge at the periphery of the contact patch with a characteristic wavelength. Elastic films are also pre-strained along one axis before the initiation of contact, causing the fingering pattern to become anisotropic and align with the axis along which the strain was applied. This transition from isotropic to anisotropic patterning is characterized quantitatively and a simple model is developed to understand the origin of the anisotropy.