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Langmuir. 2007 Jun 19;23(13):6966-74. Epub 2007 May 19.

Adhesion enhancement through micropatterning at polydimethylsiloxane-acrylic adhesive interfaces.

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Physico-Chimie Curie, UMR 168, CNRS-Institut Curie, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Adhesion at polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)-acrylic adhesive interfaces is shown to be enhanced through micropatterning of the PDMS substrate. By varying the geometry of the patterns (groves and hexagonal arrays of pillars of micrometer sizes, obtained through soft lithography techniques) and comparing rigid and deformable substrates, the respective roles of the geometry and the size and flexibility of the pattern features on the level of adhesion have been analyzed. For cylindrical pillars, two regimes are clearly identified: for a relatively low aspect ratio (h/r < 3, with h and r, respectively, the height and the radius of the pillars), soft patterned substrates are more efficient than rigid ones at increasing adhesion, pointing out the role of the elastic energy associated with the deformation of the pattern that is lost when the adhesive detaches from the substrate. Using scaling laws, the predominant contribution to that elastic energy can be further identified: deformation of the substrate underlying the pillars for h/r < 1.6 or bending of the pillars for h/r > 1.6.; for a high aspect ratio (h/r > 3), only rigid patterned substrates enhance adhesion, then the only possible contribution to energy dissipation comes from the enhanced viscoelastic losses associated with the pattern that induce modifications of the strain field within the adhesive layer. Soft, high aspect ratio patterns lose their efficiency even if still bent under the effect of the peel forces. This is because when bent, some of the pillars touch each other and remain stuck together, lying flat on the surface after the passage of the peel front. The bending elastic energy of the pillars (which is still lost) is then balanced by the corresponding gain in surface energy of the substrate in the peeled region. These systematic experiments demonstrate that the ability of the patterned surface to be deformed plays a crucial role in enhancing adhesion and allow us to propose a way to fine tune the level of adhesion at PDMS-acrylic adhesive interfaces, independently of the chemistry of the adhesive.


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