Volume 77, Number 4, February 2007
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics|
|Published online||09 February 2007|
3D aggregation of wet fibers
Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes, UMR 7636 CNRS - ESPCI - Paris 6 - Paris 7, 10 rue Vauquelin 75005 Paris, France
2 Laboratoire de Physique Statistique, UMR 8550 CNRS ENS - 24 rue Lhomond 75005 Paris, France
Accepted: 19 December 2006
Wet fibrous structures such as nanotube carpets or macroscopic brushes tend to self-assemble into bundles when the liquid evaporates. The aggregation process relies on a balance between capillary attraction provided by liquid bridges and restoring torque due to structure stiffness. The final self-organized structure is found to result from a cascade of pairing of smaller bundles into bigger ones. We first describe, both experimentally at a macroscopic scale and theoretically, the case of a single pair of fibers and then generalize this description to more complex 3D assemblies. We finally show the relevance of our results to micro-scale experiments from the literature.
PACS: 46.32.+x – Static buckling and instability / 47.55.nk – Liquid bridges / 81.16.Dn – Self-assembly
© Europhysics Letters Association, 2007
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