Self-crumpling elastomers: bending induced by the drying stimulus of a nanoparticle suspension


We report an experimental study of the drying-induced peeling of a bilayer, consisting of an elastomeric disk coated with a suspension of nanoparticles. We show that although capillary forces associated with the scale of the droplet can not compete with the adhesion of the elastomer on a surface, nevertheless large tensile stresses develop in the coating, which results in a moment bending the bilayer. We attribute this stress to the nano-menisci in the pores of the colloidal material and we propose a model that describes successfully the early stage curvature of the bilayer. Thus, we show that the peeling can be conveniently controlled by the particle size and the coating thickness.