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Carbon nanotube-based synthetic gecko tapes Liehui Ge*, Sunny Sethi*, Lijie Ci

Summary: Carbon nanotube-based synthetic gecko tapes
Liehui Ge*, Sunny Sethi*, Lijie Ci
, Pulickel M. Ajayan
, and Ali Dhinojwala*
*Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3909; and Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590
Communicated by Jacob N. Israelachvili, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, April 17, 2007 (received for review December 7, 2006)
We have developed a synthetic gecko tape by transferring mi-
cropatterned 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 (repli-
cated by nanotube bundles) and nanometer-size spatulas (individ-
ual nanotubes) are necessary to achieve macroscopic shear adhe-
sion and to translate the weak van der Waals interactions into high
shear forces. We have demonstrated for the first time a macro-
scopic 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


Source: Ajayan, Pulickel M. - Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University
Dhinojwala, Ali - Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron


Collections: Materials Science