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Biomimetic Bidirectional Switchable Adhesive Inspired by the Gecko
CALIFORNIA UNIV SANTA BARBARA
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The gecko adhesive system has attracted significant attention since the discovery that van der Waals interactions, which are always present between surfaces, are predominantly responsible for their adhesion. The unique anisotropic frictional Cadhesive capabilities of the gecko adhesive system originate from complex hierarchical structures and just as importantly, the anisotropic articulation of the structures. Here, by cleverly engineering asymmetric polymeric microstructures, a reusable switchable gecko-like adhesive can be fabricated yielding steady high adhesion F 1.25 Ncm 2 and friction F 2.8 Ncm 2 forces when actuated for gripping , yet release easily with minimal adhesion F 0.34 Ncm 2 and friction F 0.38 Ncm 2 forces during detachment or releasing , over multiple attachmentdetachment cycles, with a relatively small normal preload of 0.16 Ncm 2 to initiate the adhesion. These adhesives can also be used to reversibly suspend weights from vertical e.g., walls, and horizontal e.g., ceilings surfaces by simultaneously and judiciously activating anisotropic friction and adhesion forces. This design opens the way for new gecko-like adhesive surfaces and articulation mechanisms that do not rely on intensive nanofabrication in order to recover the anisotropic tribological property of gecko adhesive pads, albeit with lower adhesive forces compared to geckos.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE