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Materials 2018, 11(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11020231

From Fibrils to Toughness: Multi-Scale Mechanics of Fibrillating Interfaces in Stretchable Electronics

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2
Philips Research Laboratories, High Tech Campus 4, 5656 AE Eindhoven, The Netherlands
3
Center for Microsystems Technology (CMST), Ghent University—IMEC, Technologiepark 15, B-9052 Gent-Zwijnaarde, Belgium
Current address: LMT, ENS Paris-Saclay/CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay, 61 avenue du Président Wilson, 94235 Cachan CEDEX, France.
Current address: Sioux LIME, Esp 405, 5633 AJ Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 29 January 2018 / Published: 2 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stretchable and Flexible Electronic Materials & Devices)
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Abstract

Metal-elastomer interfacial systems, often encountered in stretchable electronics, demonstrate remarkably high interface fracture toughness values. Evidently, a large gap exists between the rather small adhesion energy levels at the microscopic scale (‘intrinsic adhesion’) and the large measured macroscopic work-of-separation. This energy gap is closed here by unravelling the underlying dissipative mechanisms through a systematic numerical/experimental multi-scale approach. This self-containing contribution collects and reviews previously published results and addresses the remaining open questions by providing new and independent results obtained from an alternative experimental set-up. In particular, the experimental studies on Cu-PDMS (Poly(dimethylsiloxane)) samples conclusively reveal the essential role of fibrillation mechanisms at the micro-meter scale during the metal-elastomer delamination process. The micro-scale numerical analyses on single and multiple fibrils show that the dynamic release of the stored elastic energy by multiple fibril fracture, including the interaction with the adjacent deforming bulk PDMS and its highly nonlinear behaviour, provide a mechanistic understanding of the high work-of-separation. An experimentally validated quantitative relation between the macroscopic work-of-separation and peel front height is established from the simulation results. Finally, it is shown that a micro-mechanically motivated shape of the traction-separation law in cohesive zone models is essential to describe the delamination process in fibrillating metal-elastomer systems in a physically meaningful way. View Full-Text
Keywords: stretchable electronics; interface delamination; cohesive zone; fibrillation; multi-scale analysis; PDMS; traction-separation law; peel test; fracture process zone stretchable electronics; interface delamination; cohesive zone; fibrillation; multi-scale analysis; PDMS; traction-separation law; peel test; fracture process zone
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van der Sluis, O.; Vermeij, T.; Neggers, J.; Vossen, B.; van Maris, M.; Vanfleteren, J.; Geers, M.; Hoefnagels, J. From Fibrils to Toughness: Multi-Scale Mechanics of Fibrillating Interfaces in Stretchable Electronics. Materials 2018, 11, 231.

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