Self-recovery of stressed nanomembranes

Jiang, Chaoyang; Rybak, Beth M.; Markutsya, Sergiy; Kladitis, Paul E.; Tsukruk, Vladimir V.
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/21/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 12, p121912
Academic Journal
Long-term stability and self-recovery properties were studied for the compliant nanomembranes with a thickness of 55 nm free suspended over openings of several hundred microns across. These nanomembranes were assembled with spin-assisted layer-by-layer routines and were composed of polymer multilayers and gold nanoparticles. In a wide pressure range, the membranes behave like completely elastic freely suspended plates. Temporal stability was tested under extreme deformational conditions close to ultimate strain and very modest creep behavior was observed. A unique “self-recovery” ability of these nanomembranes was revealed in these tests. We observed a complete restoration of the initial nanomembrane shape and properties after significant inelastic deformation. These unique micromechanical properties are suggested to be the result of strong Coulombic interaction between the polyelectrolyte layers combined with a high level of biaxial orientation of polymer chains and in-plane prestretching stresses.


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