Scientists at the University of Chicago and the University of Santiago in Chile have explained, for the first time, the physics that governs how thin materials at scales millions of times different in thickness make the transition from wrinkles into folds under compression. The study stems from a research program at the University of Chicago aimed at understanding the characteristics of lung surfactant, a microscopically thin membrane that facilitates breathing. But the findings would apply both to the design of foldable electronics and to the production of synthetic lung surfactant for therapeutic uses.
The University of Chicago’s Ka Yee Lee and Luka Pocivavsek examine wrinkling in a polyester thin film supported on a gel. Lee, Pocivavsek and their associates study the characteristics of lung surfactant, a microscopically thin membrane that facilitates breathing. – See more at: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2008/05/15/research-puts-new-wrinkle-study-materials-folding-under-pressure#sthash.Vh2svnpx.dpuf