Geckos have a remarkable ability to stick to and climb almost any type of surface using micro- and nanoscale foot- hairs, which allow conformal contact against any counter-surface and thus, maximize the interfacial interaction. With the goal of mimicking the high adhesion and friction capability of geckos, we have fabricated ordered polymeric nano-fiber arrays of various soft and hard polymers, including low-density polyethylene and cyclic olefin polymers. In order to provide a useful reference for optimum high performance conditions, the effects of fiber geometry (diameter and length,) on the macroscale friction characteristics of the nano-fiber arrays have been systematically investigated. The performance is also evaluated against surfaces with different surface energies, hardness and roughness to help in the design of gecko-like adhesives that perform well on practical surfaces.
Project end date: 08/23/16