Adhesion of biologically inspired vertical and angled polymer microfiber arrays

Burak Aksak, Michael P. Murphy, Metin Sitti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an approximate adhesion model for fibrillar adhesives for developing a fibrillar adhesive design methodology and compares numerical simulation adhesion results with macroscale adhesion data from polymer microfiber array experiments. A technique for fabricating microfibers with a controlled angle is described for the first time. Polyurethane microfibers with different hardnesses, angles, and aspect ratios are fabricated using optical lithography and polymer micromolding techniques and tested with a custom tensile adhesion measurement setup. Macroscale adhesion and overall work of adhesion of the microfiber arrays are measured and compared with the models to observe the effect of fiber geometry and preload. The adhesion strength and work of adhesion behavior of short and long vertical and long angled fiber arrays have similar trends with the numerical simulations. A scheme is also proposed to aid in optimized fiber adhesive design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3322-3332
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 13 2007


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