Effect of PBS and Temperature on Adhesion Properties of Artificial Bio-inspired Micro-patterned Surfaces, The

Garland, Robert Spencer
Micro-patterned surfaces consist of many micron-sized (10-6m) pillars that provide a large contact area with a substrate, increasing adhesion through intermolecular forces also known as Van der Waals interactions. These interactions allow lizards, spiders, and insects to scale many different substrates both vertically and up-side-down. The micro-patterned surfaces of these animals can be called switchable adhesives because they are easy to attach or detach (adhesive at a particular angle while non-adhesive at another angle) to a given substrate. My research involved the fabrication of photopolymerizable polymers with micro-patterned surfaces (artificial surfaces that attempt to mimic the switchable adhesion properties of many certain insects and animals through the use of micron-sized pillars). These surfaces are of interest because of their possible switchable adhesion properties due to small temperature changes or changes in the surrounding environment (air to phosphate buffered saline). Adhesion due to these micro-patterned surfaces depends on both chemistry and the material stiffness also known as the Modulus of Elasticity. Thus, through using different materials, the material stiffness can be tuned to a particular magnitude that is ideal for adhesion at a certain temperature, and not at another, resulting in the natural phenomenon of switchable adhesion.
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