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Influence of packing density and surface roughness of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes on adhesive properties of gecko-inspired mimetics.

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Chen, Bingan 
Oppenheimer, Pola Goldberg 
Zhang, Can 
Tornatzky, Hans 


We have systematically studied the macroscopic adhesive properties of vertically aligned nanotube arrays with various packing density and roughness. Using a tensile setup in shear and normal adhesion, we find that there exists a maximum packing density for nanotube arrays to have adhesive properties. Too highly packed tubes do not offer intertube space for tube bending and side-wall contact to surfaces, thus exhibiting no adhesive properties. Likewise, we also show that the surface roughness of the arrays strongly influences the adhesion properties and the reusability of the tubes. Increasing the surface roughness of the array strengthens the adhesion in the normal direction, but weakens it in the shear direction. Altogether, these results allow progress toward mimicking the gecko's vertical mobility.



area density, carbon nanotube forests, dry adhesive, normal adhesion, packing density, roughness, shear adhesion, Adhesiveness, Adhesives, Animals, Biomimetic Materials, Biomimetics, Lizards, Nanotubes, Carbon

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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces

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American Chemical Society (ACS)
The authors acknowledge funding from the EC project Technotubes.