Spontaneous formation of double helical structure due to interfacial adhesion

Xiang Ying Ji, Meng Qiang Zhao, Fei Wei, Xi Qiao Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Many quasi-one-dimensional micro/nanomaterials assume double or multi-stranded helical conformations, but the reasons are still unclear. On the basis of continuum mechanics analysis, we demonstrate that interfacial adhesion is a significant physical mechanism responsible for the formation of some double helices, especially at micro and nano scales and for soft materials. With the formation of a double helical structure by two nanowires, surface energy decreases while elastic strain energy increases. Their competition dictates the global morphology of adhered micro/nanowires or tubes. The theoretical model agrees well with relevant experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number263104
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 25 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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