Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Techniques to Measure Adhesive Forces Between Electrospun Polymer Nanofibers

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Due to the difficulty in handling nanofibers, little is reported and understood on the dry adhesion between electrospun nanofibers. In this study, we develop a technique to measure the dry adhesive forces between electrospun nanofibers. Of critical importance is the ability to mimic naturally occurring dry adhesion such as that between gecko's and spider's foot hairs and untreated surfaces. The adhesion test was performed on two poly(e-caprolactone) electrospun ultrafine fibers using a nanoforce tensile tester. It was found that the adhesive force per unit area increased with decreasing fiber diameter. The degree of crystallinity, order parameters of macromolecules in the amorphous region and crystallite orientation of the spun fibers were determined by the differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The high measured adhesion between single PCL fibers in comparison to other reported values was attributed to crystal orientation due to electrospinning and the increase of adhesive force per unit area with decreasing fiber diameter.

Publication Title

Proceeding of the MRS Fall Meeting