Crystalline membrane morphology beyond polyhedra

H Yuan and MO de la Cruz, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 100, 012610 (2019).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.100.012610

Elastic crystalline membranes exhibit a buckling transition from sphere to polyhedron. However, their morphologies are restricted to convex polyhedra and are difficult to externally control. Here we study morphological changes of closed crystalline membranes of superparamagnetic particles. The competition of magnetic dipole-dipole interactions with the elasticity of this magnetoelastic membrane leads to concave morphologies. Interestingly, as the magnetic field strength increases, the symmetry of the buckled membrane decreases from 5-fold to 3-fold, to 2-fold and, finally, to 1-fold rotational symmetry. This gives the ability to switch the membrane morphology between convex and concave shapes with specific symmetry and provides promising applications for membrane shape control in the design of actuatable microcontainers for targeted delivery systems.

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