A gecko-inspired double-sided adhesive†
Geckos' outstanding abilities to adhere to various surfaces are widely credited to the large actual contact areas of the fibrillar and hierarchical structures on their feet. These special features regulate the essential structural compliance for every attachment and thus provide robust yet reversible adhesions. Inspired by gecko's feet and our commonly used double-faced tape, we have successfully fabricated a gecko-inspired double-sided dry adhesive by using porous anodic alumina template assisted nano-wetting on a stiff polymer. It was determined that the obtained 2-sided structure showed largely decreased effective stiffness compared with its 1-sided counterpart, which favored better compliance and interfacial integrity. We also demonstrated that the repeatable double-sided adhesive improved the macroscopic normal and shear adhesion capacities over the widely-studied 1-side structure by ∼50% and ∼85%, respectively. By using the synthetic double-sided adhesive, the usage of traditional pressure-sensitive/chemical adhesives could be well avoided. Besides, the double-sided nanostructures showed great potential in finding new interesting properties and practical applications for the synthetic dry adhesives.