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Undulatory Delamination of Thin Polymer Films on Gold Surfaces

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posted on 20.10.2005, 00:00 by Soonwoo Chah, Jaan Noolandi, Richard N. Zare
Using two-dimensional surface plasmon resonance measurements, we have observed the formation of traveling waves in the delamination of thin films of polydimethylsilane (PDMS) exposed to methanol. Films were spin-coated on a gold surface and the methanol was added to the top surface. The stress-induced instability caused by the swelling of the PDMS thin film when its edge is pinned to the gold surface leads to wrinkle formation and propagation at the interface. The periodic pattern is thought to be the result of an Asaro-Tiller-Grinfeld (ATG) instability.