Enhanced adhesion of bioinspired nanopatterned elastomets via colloidal surface assembly

S. Akerboom, J. Appel, D. Labonte, W. Federle, J.H.B. Sprakel, M.M.G. Kamperman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


We describe a scalable method to fabricate nanopatterned bioinspired dry adhesives using colloidal lithography. Close-packed monolayers of polystyrene particles were formed at the air/water interface, on which polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) was applied. The order of the colloidal monolayer and the immersion depth of the particles were tuned by altering the pH and ionic strength of the water. Initially, PDMS completely wetted the air/water interface outside the monolayer, thereby compressing the monolayer as in a Langmuir trough; further application of PDMS subsequently covered the colloidal monolayers. PDMS curing and particle extraction resulted in elastomers patterned with nanodimples. Adhesion and friction of these nanopatterned surfaces with varying dimple depth were studied using a spherical probe as a counter-surface. Compared with smooth surfaces, adhesion of nanopatterned surfaces was enhanced, which is attributed to an energy-dissipating mechanism during pull-off. All nanopatterned surfaces showed a significant decrease in friction compared with smooth surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20141061
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Royal Society, Interface
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • elastic wavy surface
  • air-water-interface
  • gecko foot-hair
  • large-area
  • rapid fabrication
  • dry adhesives
  • monolayers
  • crystals
  • solids
  • soft


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