Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Franck J. Vernerey

Second Advisor

Rong Long

Third Advisor

Francisco L. Jiménez


Blister formation is a universal problem that can be witnessed within a wide range of contents. It is first documented as a side effect of syringomyelia and other diseases. Later on, the forming of blisters are also observed during the cell apoptosis, which leads to the hypothesis that it could have some intricate relationships with the death of living organisms. Other than biological problems, blister forming is also a common phenomenon in thin film technologies. Therefore, the research in the forming of blisters is essential and critical in both engineering and science fields.

In this thesis, we study the problem of a growing blister made of a rubber-like membrane adhered on a rigid substrate, and the implications that it might have on possible artificial shape-morphing skins. We show that a blister test is a problem driven by competition between two instabilities: one inherent to the rubber, and second one pertaining to the adhesion with the substrate. This enables obtaining different results with such that the final blister profile can be perfectly controlled by only adjusting the thickness of the film and the inflation rate. Given the theory, the rest part of this thesis is mainly focused on the experimental validation of it. We designed our unique experimental systems to analyze such problem and by matching the experimental results and simulation results, we can verify the validity of our theory.