Experiments and viscoelastic analysis of peel test with patterned strips for applications to transfer printing

Hang Chen, Xue Feng*, Yin Huang, Yonggang Huang, John A. Rogers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Transfer printing is an exceptionally sophisticated approach to assembly and micro-/nanofabrication that relies on a soft, elastomeric 'stamp' to transfer solid, micro-/nanoscale materials or device components from one substrate to another, in a large-scale, parallel fashion. The most critical control parameter in transfer printing is the strength of adhesion between the stamp and materials/devices. Conventional peel tests provide effective and robust means for determining the interfacial adhesion strength, or equivalently the energy release rate, and its dependence on peel speed. The results presented here provide analytic solutions for tests of this type, performed using viscoelastic strips with and without patterns of relief on their surfaces, and validated by systematic experiments. For a flat strip, a simple method enables determination of the energy release rate as a function of the peel speed. Patterned strips can be designed to achieve desired interfacial properties, with either stronger or weaker adhesion than that for a flat strip. The pattern spacing influences the energy release rate, to give values that initially decrease to levels smaller than those for a corresponding flat strip, as the pattern spacing increases. Once the spacing reaches a critical value, the relief self-collapses onto the substrate, thereby significantly increasing the contact area and the strength of adhesion. Analytic solutions capture not only these behaviors, as confirmed by experiment, but also extend to strips with nearly any pattern geometry of cylindrical pillars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1752
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Energy release rate
  • Patterned strips
  • Peel test
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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