Biomimetic wall-shaped hierarchical microstructure for gecko-like attachment
Most biological hairy adhesive systems involved in locomotion rely on spatula-shaped terminal elements, whose operation has been actively studied during the last decade. However, though functional principles underlying their amazing performance are now well understood, due to technical difficulties in manufacturing the complex structure of hierarchical spatulate systems, a biomimetic surface structure featuring true shear-induced dynamic attachment still remains elusive. To try bridging this gap, a novel method of manufacturing gecko-like attachment surfaces is devised based on a laser-micromachining technology. This method overcomes the inherent disadvantages of photolithography techniques and opens wide perspectives for future production of gecko-like attachment systems. Advanced smart-performance surfaces featuring thin-film-based hierarchical shear-activated elements are fabricated and found capable of generating friction force of several tens of times the contact load, which makes a significant step forward towards a true gecko-like adhesive.