Actuation of magnetoelastic membranes in precessing magnetic fields

Chase Austyn Brisbois, Mykola Tasinkevych, Pablo Vázquez-Montejo, Monica Olvera De La Cruz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Superparamagnetic nanoparticles incorporated into elastic media offer the possibility of creating actuators driven by external fields in a multitude of environments. Here, magnetoelastic membranes are studied through a combination of continuum mechanics and molecular dynamics simulations. We show how induced magnetic interactions affect the buckling and the configuration of magnetoelastic membranes in rapidly precessing magnetic fields. The field, in competition with the bending and stretching of the membrane, transmits forces and torques that drives the membrane to expand, contract, or twist. We identify critical field values that induce spontaneous symmetry breaking as well as field regimes where multiple membrane configurations may be observed. Our insights into buckling mechanisms provide the bases to develop soft, autonomous robotic systems that can be used at micro- and macroscopic length scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2500-2505
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
StatePublished - Feb 12 2019


  • Finite element analysis
  • Membranes
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Spontaneous symmetry breaking
  • Superparamagnetism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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