Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Applied Mathematics


Dr. Martin H. Müser


The wrinkling of thin sheets has been of great interest in various fields ranging from mechanics to biology. Despite significant progress in understanding the morphology and the dynamics of wrinkling patterns under static boundary conditions, little is known about how wrinkles behave when they are extremely driven. When in contact with an adhering particle, elastic sheets possess competing mechanically stable, wrinkled geometries if their thickness is below a critical value. In this thesis, molecular dynamics simulations are used to show that adhering particles moving laterally over a wrinkled elastic sheet induce instability transition of the wrinkles. These dynamics produce a frictional force between the particles and the sheet that can be well described with Coulomb’s law of friction for the solids. Our results may have implications for biological experiments of culturing cells on soft thin substrates.



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