Soft matter with hard skin: From skin wrinkles to templating and material characterization
The English-language dictionary defines wrinkles as “small furrows, ridges, or creases on a normally smooth surface, caused by crumpling, folding, or shrinking”. In this paper we review the scientific aspects of wrinkling and the related phenomenon of buckling. Specifically, we discuss how and why wrinkles/buckles form in various materials. We also describe several examples from everyday life, which demonstrate that wrinkling or buckling is indeed a commonplace phenomenon that spans a multitude of length scales. We will emphasize that wrinkling is not always a frustrating feature (e.g., wrinkles in human skin), as it can help to assemble new structures, understand important physical phenomena, and even assist in characterizing chief material properties.