Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Switchable Adhesive

24.07.2007
Gel- and polymer-coated surfaces stick together and separate in response to an environmental stimulus

Two surfaces stick together, separate, and stick together again—on command. This discovery by a team of researchers from the Universities of Sheffield (UK) and Bayreuth contradicts our day-to-day experience. In the animal kingdom, geckos can climb up vertical inclines, displaying an incredible switchable adhesion as they do so. Insects also use another form of switchable adhesion to sit on your ceiling and then fly off before you climb up on your chair with a rolled-up newspaper. How these animals can switch off and on adhesion is not yet understood in detail. But the scientists led by Mark Geoghegan reveal the secret of their “intelligent” adhesion in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

One of the surfaces involved consists of a polyacid gel, a three-dimensionally cross-linked polymer containing many acid groups. This polymer network is so heavily soaked in liquid that it forms a solid, gelatinous mass. The second surface is a silicon chip onto which a polybase has been deposited. This polybase consists of polymer chains that stretch brush-like from the support and contain many basic groups. In water or slightly acidic solution, the acidic groups carry a positive charge while the basic groups are negatively charged; this causes them to attract each other. In addition to this electrostatic attraction, hydrogen bonds are also formed, which causes the two surfaces to be tightly stuck together.

If the surrounding solution is made more strongly acidic (a pH value of about 1), the bonds break up, the basic groups lose their charge, and the electrostatic attraction lets up. The two surfaces can then be slowly and carefully separated from each other without any damage. This detachment is reversible: If the pH value is raised again, making the solution less acidic, the gel and “brush” stick to each other once again. This cycle can be repeated many times by simply changing the pH value.

... more about:
»Stick »acidic »adhesion

Possible applications for such “smart” surface pairs include microelectromagnetic components (actuators), components for microfluidic systems, or carriers for pharmacological agents that could release their cargo under specific physiological conditions.

Author: Mark Geoghegan, University of Sheffield (UK), http://homepage.mac.com/mag16/

Title: Controlling Network–Brush Interactions to Achieve Switchable Adhesion

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, doi: 10.1002/anie.200701796

Mark Geoghegan | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://homepage.mac.com/mag16/
http://pressroom.angewandte.org

Further reports about: Stick acidic adhesion

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>