Magnetic self-assembly of three-dimensional surfaces from planar sheets

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Mar 15;102(11):3924-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0500807102. Epub 2005 Mar 7.


This report describes the spontaneous folding of flat elastomeric sheets, patterned with magnetic dipoles, into free-standing, 3D objects that are the topological equivalents of spherical shells. The path of the self-assembly is determined by a competition between mechanical and magnetic interactions. The potential of this strategy for the fabrication of 3D electronic devices is demonstrated by generating a simple electrical circuit surrounding a spherical cavity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.