Instability of a stiff thin film attached to a compliant substrate generally results in the appearance of exquisite wrinkles with length scales that depend on the system geometry and applied stresses. Several methods have been developed for creating surface wrinkles including inducing compressive stresses/strains on a thin metal deposited on a polymer substrate, dewetting polymer, and UVO/ion beam-irradiated polymeric surface.
In this work, we have reviewed the formation of ion beam-induced self-assembled wrinkle patterns on polymer surfaces. Exposure to ion beam generally results in formation of a stiff skin on surface areas of a polymeric surface. The created stiff skin has strain mismatch with the polymeric surface, leading to generation of ordered surface wrinkles. By controlling the ion beam fluence and area of exposure of the poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), one can create a variety of patterns in the wavelengths in the micron to submicron range, from simple one-dimensional wrinkles to peculiar and complex hierarchical nested wrinkles. The induced strains in the stiff skin can be estimated by measuring the surface length in the buckled state. The patterned surfaces have a variety of cross-disciplinary applications that range from optics and electronics to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. One novel usage of these patterns is for fabricating wrinkles with extreme topology. As an example, by using the prefabricated wrinkle pattern by ion beam, we developed wrinkles with high aspect ratio of amplitude over wavelength. Here, first the wrinkles were induced on a PDMS surface using Ar ion beam irradiation. The wrinkles had a wavelength in the range of 200–1,400nm depending on the ion treatment time. Then, an amorphous carbon film was deposited on the pre-patterned PDMS to elevate the amplitude of surface features using a glancing angle deposition.
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This work was supported in part by funding from KIST and in part by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research under AFOSR YIP grant award, #FA 9550-10-1-0145, under the technical supervision of Dr. Joycelyn Harrison.
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