Sujit S. Datta, Shin-Hyun Kim, Jayson Paulose, Alireza Abbaspourrad, David R. Nelson, and David A. Weitz, "Delayed buckling and guided folding of inhomogeneous capsules," Physical Review Letters (2012). (accepted for publication) (The first three authors contributed equally to this work.)
Colloidal capsules can sustain an external osmotic pressure; however, for a sufficiently large pressure, they will ultimately buckle. This process can be strongly influenced by structural inhomogeneities in the capsule shells. We explore how the time delay before the onset of buckling decreases as the shells are made more inhomogeneous; this behavior can be quantitatively understood by coupling shell theory with Darcy’s law. In addition, we show that the shell inhomogeneity can dramatically change the folding pathway taken by a capsule after it buckles.
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