Self-Assembled Nanoparticles Based Fabrication of Gecko Foot-Hair-Inspired Polymer Nanofibers

Authors

  • T. S. Kustandi,

    1. Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos #04-01, Singapore 138669 (Singapore)
    2. Current address: School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, N3-01a-01, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
    Search for more papers by this author
  • V. D. Samper,

    1. Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos #04-01, Singapore 138669 (Singapore)
    2. Current address: General Electric Global Research, Freisinger Landstr. 50, 85748 Garching b. Munich, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. K. Yi,

    1. Division of Bioengineering, Kyungwon University, Sungnam 461-701, (Korea)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • W. S. Ng,

    1. School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, N3-01a-01, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • P. Neuzil,

    1. Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos #04-01, Singapore 138669 (Singapore)
    Search for more papers by this author
  • W. Sun

    1. Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos #04-01, Singapore 138669 (Singapore)
    Search for more papers by this author

  • The research was supported by the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore. We are especially grateful to Dr. Santhiagu Ezhilvalavan of IBN for his help proof reading the manuscript. We also acknowledge the Institute of Materials Research Engineering (IMRE), especially Mr. Eric Tang Xiaosong and Mr. Cheong Khee Leong, and the Micromachines Centre (MMC) of Nanyang Technological University for their help with cleanroom facilities.

Abstract

Wafer-scale polymer nanofabrillar structures have been fabricated using the combination of colloidal nanolithography, deep-silicon etching, and nanomolding to mimic the nanostructure of gecko foot-hairs. The artificial surface features densely packed polymeric nanofibrils with super-hydrophobic, water-repellent, and “easy-to-clean” characteristics. The lateral dimension of the nanofibrils is as small as 250 nm and an aspect-ratio as high as 10:1 has been achieved without lateral collapse between neighboring fibrils. The method allows both fabrication of synthetic structures over a large area and direct integration of a flexible membrane to assist the array of nanofibrils in making intimate contact with uneven surfaces. A single nanofibril exhibits a mean adhesive force ranging from (0.91 ± 0.34) nN to (1.35 ± 0.37) nN. In the macroscopic scale, the nanostructured surface can adhere firmly to a smooth glass substrate and inherits the in-use, self-cleaning property of the setal nanostructures found in gecko lamellae.

Ancillary