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Switchable Adhesion Surfaces with Enhanced Performance Against Rough Counterfaces

Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambrige CB2 1PZ, UK
Robinson College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 9AN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Campus D2 2, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany; Tel.: +49-0-681-9300-366.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Carbone
Biomimetics 2016, 1(1), 2;
Received: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 18 February 2016 / Published: 25 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro- and Nano-Structured Bio-Inspired Surfaces)
In a recent study, we demonstrated that the pressurization of micro-fluidic features introduced in the subsurface of a soft polymer can be used to actively modify the magnitude of the adhesion to a harder counterface by changing its waviness or long wavelength undulations. In that case, both contacting surfaces had very smooth finishes with root-mean-square roughnesses of less than 20 nm. These values are far from those of many engineering surfaces, which usually have a naturally occurring roughness of between ten and a hundred times this value. In this work, we demonstrate that appropriate surface features, specifically relatively slender “fibrils”, can enhance the ability of a such a soft surface to adhere to a hard, but macroscopically rough, counterface, while still maintaining the possibility of switching the adhesion force from one level to another. Conversely, stiffer more conical surface features can suppress adhesion even against a smooth counterface. Examples of each form of topography can be found in the natural world. View Full-Text
Keywords: switchable adhesion; soft adhesion; microfluidics; roughness switchable adhesion; soft adhesion; microfluidics; roughness
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MDPI and ACS Style

Prieto-López, L.O.; Williams, J.A. Switchable Adhesion Surfaces with Enhanced Performance Against Rough Counterfaces. Biomimetics 2016, 1, 2.

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