Bio-inspired micropatterned adhesives – a multiscale problem to optimize grip

events hall

Dr. René Hensel




Inspired from concepts found in biology, micropatterned dry adhesives were identified as promising candidates for the development of novel pick-and-place handling systems. This talk will give an overview of our novel adhesive surfaces by emphasizing on mechanisms and modeling. Starting from the idea of „contact splitting”, we have – among others – demonstrated that a switching action to a non-adhesive state can be reproducibly achieved. The numerical simulation of the adhesion performance as a function of materials and structure parameters has allowed us to rationally optimize our structures. The most obvious lack of understanding concerns the collaborative behavior of fibrils during attachment and detachment: most theories consider adhesion of an array to behave like the direct superposition of many fibrils, based on the behavior of one contact. There is considerable new insight to be gained from a direct observation of the contacts. These and other properties make artificial “gecko surfaces” interesting for creating new surface solutions for robotic pick-and-place systems, assembly machines, in space technology and in biomedicine.

[1] R. Hensel, K. Moh and E. Arzt, Engineering micropatterned dry adhesives: from contact theory to handling applications, Advanced Functional Materials 28, 1800865 (2018) [2] E. Arzt, H. Quan, R.M. McMeeking, R. Hensel, Functional surface microstructures inspired by nature – from adhesion and wetting principles to sustainable new devices, Progress in Materials Science, 2021, accepted

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