Tunable helical ribbons

Z. Chen, C. Majidi, D. J. Srolovitz, M. Haataja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The helix angle, chirality, and radius of helical ribbons are predicted with a comprehensive, three-dimensional analysis that incorporates elasticity, differential geometry, and variational principles. In many biological and engineered systems, ribbon helicity is commonplace and may be driven by surface stress, residual strain, and geometric or elastic mismatch between layers of a laminated composite. Unless coincident with the principle geometric axes of the ribbon, these anisotropies will lead to spontaneous, three-dimensional helical deformations. Analytical, closed-form ribbon shape predictions are validated with table-top experiments. More generally, our approach can be applied to develop materials and systems with tunable helical geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number011906
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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