A theoretical model of reversible adhesion in shape memory surface relief structures and its application in transfer printing

Yeguang Xue, Yihui Zhang*, Xue Feng, Seok Kim, John A. Rogers, Yonggang Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Transfer printing is an important and versatile tool for deterministic assembly and integration of micro/nanomaterials on unusual substrates, with promising applications in fabrication of stretchable and flexible electronics. The shape memory polymers (SMP) with triangular surface relief structures are introduced to achieve large, reversible adhesion, thereby with potential applications in temperature-controlled transfer printing. An analytic model is established, and it identifies two mechanisms to increase the adhesion: (1) transition of contact mode from the triangular to trapezoidal configurations, and (2) explicit enhancement in the contact area. The surface relief structures are optimized to achieve reversible adhesion and transfer printing. The theoretical model and results presented can be exploited as design guidelines for future applications of SMP in reversible adhesion and stretchable electronics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Reversible adhesion
  • Shape memory polymer
  • Stretchable and flexible electronics
  • Surface relief structures
  • Transfer printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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