Polymer Science Faculty Research

Title

Carbon Nanotube-Based Synthetic Gecko Tapes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-19-2007

Abstract

We have developed a synthetic gecko tape by transferring micropatterned carbon nanotube arrays onto flexible polymer tape based on the hierarchical structure found on the foot of a gecko lizard. The gecko tape can support a shear stress (36 N/cm2) nearly four times higher than the gecko foot and sticks to a variety of surfaces, including Teflon. Both the micrometer-size setae (replicated by nanotube bundles) and nanometer-size spatulas (individual nanotubes) are necessary to achieve macroscopic shear adhesion and to translate the weak van der Waals interactions into high shear forces. We have demonstrated for the first time a macroscopic flexible patch that can be used repeatedly with peeling and adhesive properties better than the natural gecko foot. The carbon nanotube-based tape offers an excellent synthetic option as a dry conductive reversible adhesive in microelectronics, robotics, and space applications.

Publication Title

The National Academy of Sciences of the USA

Volume

104

Issue

26

First Page

10792

Last Page

10795