Carbon Nanotube-Based Synthetic Gecko Tapes
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.
The National Academy of Sciences of the USA
Ge, Liehui; Sethi, Sunny; Ci, Lijie; Ajayan, Pulickel M.; and Dhinojwala, Ali, "Carbon Nanotube-Based Synthetic Gecko Tapes" (2007). Polymer Science Faculty Research. 46.