Controlling and prevention of surface wrinkling via size-dependent critical wrinkling strain
Surface wrinkling may occur in a film–substrate system when the applied strain exceeds the critical value. However, the practically required strain for the onset of surface wrinkling can be different from the theoretically predicted value. Here we investigate the film size effect-dependent critical strain for the mechanical strain-induced surface wrinkling via a combination of experiments and theoretical analysis. In the poly(dimethylsiloxane)-based system fabricated by the smart combination of mechanical straining and selective O2 plasma (OP) exposure through Cu grids, the film size effect on the critical wrinkling strain is systematically studied by considering OP exposure duration, the mesh number and geometry of Cu grids. Meanwhile, a simple analytical solution revealing the film size effect is well established, which shows good consistency with the experimental results. This study provides an experimental and theoretical basis for finely tuning the critical wrinkling strain in a simple and quantitative manner, which can find a wide range of applications in such fields as microelectronic circuits and optical devices, where controlling and/or prevention of surface wrinkling are of great importance.