Next Article in Journal
Formation of Aluminum Particles with Shell Morphology during Pressureless Spark Plasma Sintering of Fe–Al Mixtures: Current-Related or Kirkendall Effect?
Next Article in Special Issue
Bioinspired Materials for Water Purification
Previous Article in Journal
Fatigue Damage Monitoring of a Composite Step Lap Joint Using Distributed Optical Fibre Sensors
Previous Article in Special Issue
Nanotextured Shrink Wrap Superhydrophobic Surfaces by Argon Plasma Etching
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Nanoporous Monolithic Microsphere Arrays Have Anti-Adhesive Properties Independent of Humidity

Institut für Chemie neuer Materialien, Universität Osnabrück, Barbarastr. 7, Osnabrück 49069, Germany
School of Power and Mechanical Engineering, Wuhan University; Donghu South Road 8, Wuhan 430072, China
Functional Morphology and Biomechanics, Zoological Institute, Kiel University, Am Botanischen Garten 9, Kiel 24118, Germany
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Frank A. Müller
Materials 2016, 9(5), 373;
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 9 May 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 14 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinspired and Biomimetic Materials)
PDF [1610 KB, uploaded 14 May 2016]


Bioinspired artificial surfaces with tailored adhesive properties have attracted significant interest. While fibrillar adhesive pads mimicking gecko feet are optimized for strong reversible adhesion, monolithic microsphere arrays mimicking the slippery zone of the pitchers of carnivorous plants of the genus Nepenthes show anti-adhesive properties even against tacky counterpart surfaces. In contrast to the influence of topography, the influence of relative humidity (RH) on adhesion has been widely neglected. Some previous works deal with the influence of RH on the adhesive performance of fibrillar adhesive pads. Commonly, humidity-induced softening of the fibrils enhances adhesion. However, little is known on the influence of RH on solid anti-adhesive surfaces. We prepared polymeric nanoporous monolithic microsphere arrays (NMMAs) with microsphere diameters of a few 10 µm to test their anti-adhesive properties at RHs of 2% and 90%. Despite the presence of continuous nanopore systems through which the inner nanopore walls were accessible to humid air, the topography-induced anti-adhesive properties of NMMAs on tacky counterpart surfaces were retained even at RH = 90%. This RH-independent robustness of the anti-adhesive properties of NMMAs significantly contrasts the adhesion enhancement by humidity-induced softening on nanoporous fibrillar adhesive pads made of the same material. View Full-Text
Keywords: block copolymers; microspheres; monolayers; monoliths; surfaces; adhesion; biomimetics; nanoporous materials block copolymers; microspheres; monolayers; monoliths; surfaces; adhesion; biomimetics; nanoporous materials

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Eichler-Volf, A.; Xue, L.; Kovalev, A.; Gorb, E.V.; Gorb, S.N.; Steinhart, M. Nanoporous Monolithic Microsphere Arrays Have Anti-Adhesive Properties Independent of Humidity. Materials 2016, 9, 373.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Materials EISSN 1996-1944 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top