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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 26;104(26):10792-5. Epub 2007 Jun 19.

Carbon nanotube-based synthetic gecko tapes.

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  • 1Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325-3909, USA.


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/cm(2)) 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.

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