Adhesional instabilities and gecko locomotion
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
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Williams, J. (2014). Adhesional instabilities and gecko locomotion. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 48 (015401)https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/48/1/015401
Geckos possess a remarkable ability to run rapidly on both walls and ceilings and in recent years the mechanisms that underlie this facility have come under close scrutiny. It is now generally agreed that one of the principal mechanisms of adhesion relies on the action of van der Waal forces acting between the final extremely fine structure of the gecko toe and the underlying substrate. High speed video analysis shows that adhesive contact is both made and broken in intervals of less than 20 ms and this suggests that the mechanism of detachment is one of adhesive instability rather than steady-state peeling. By considering the gecko seta/spatula as a Euler-Bernoulli cantilever it is possible to model this instability in non-dimensional terms and thus to test the analysis at a much larger scale with more conventional engineering materials. When applied to the scale and material combination appropriate to a gecko spatula the predicted critical load, of around 10nN, is close to values that have been observed using and AFM cantilever and a single detached spatula.
adhesion, gecko, instability
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/48/1/015401
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/246255