Flexible Carbon-Nanofiber Connectors with Anisotropic Adhesion Properties


  • The authors thank B. E. Schubert and R. Fearing for insightful discussions and suggestions. This work was supported by DARPA/DSO, NSF Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems, and Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center. Z.Z. acknowledges a fellowship from the China Scholarship Council. The CNF synthesis part of this project was supported by a Laboratory Directed Research and Development grant from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.


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Flexible carbon nanofiber (CNF) connectors are enabled by the direct transfer of vertical CNF arrays grown on silicon substrates to plastic substrates (see image). The vertical geometry of the CNF arrays provides strong shear adhesion strength with minimal disengagement forces. By controlling the tilt angle of the CNF arrays, directional shear adhesion properties are enabled.