Capillary origami: Spontaneous wrapping of a droplet with an elastic sheet

Charlotte Py, Paul Reverdy, Lionel Doppler, José Bico, Benoît Roman, Charles N. Baroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

373 Scopus citations


The interaction between elasticity and capillarity is used to produce three-dimensional structures through the wrapping of a liquid droplet by a planar sheet. The final encapsulated 3D shape is controlled by tailoring the initial geometry of the flat membrane. Balancing interfacial energy with elastic bending energy provides a critical length scale below which encapsulation cannot occur, which is verified experimentally. This length is found to depend on the thickness as h3/2, a scaling favorable to miniaturization which suggests a new way of mass production of 3D micro- or nanoscale objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number156103
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 13 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Capillary origami: Spontaneous wrapping of a droplet with an elastic sheet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this