Researchers Working to Perfect Reversible Gecko Adhesive
For years, researchers have been fascinated by the reversible adhesive qualities of the gecko’s foot. Recently, this fascination spurred University of California researchers to create glue that mimics the gecko’s nano-scale, magnetic foot hairs. Just like the gecko can turn its foot stickiness on and off at will, UCSB’s new glue is activated and deactivated by the simple force of magnetism.
This research is especially exciting since it represents the fusion of several scientific disciplines—including biology, physics, chemistry, nanoscience and mechanical engineering. What’s the application of this new glue? While scientists are still working on the implications, the invention may eventually help robots climb precarious surfaces, allow commuters to glue coffee mugs to their dash—or, you guessed it—improve the precarious handling of microchips.
There are hundreds of super-strong adhesives on the commercial and industrial markets today, but until now, none could be easily “turned off.” According to UCSB, “An adhesive that has the ability to switch from ‘sticky’ to ‘non-sticky’ rapidly without causing any degradation or contamination of the surface will open many technological doors.”
Interested in finding out more? Click here to view the in-depth UCSB gecko glue PowerPoint presentation.
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