Friction of partially embedded vertically aligned carbon nanofibers inside elastomers

Burak Aksak, Metin Sitti, Alan Cassell, Jun Li, Meyya Meyyappan, Phillip Callen

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Vertically aligned carbon nanofibers partially embedded inside polyurethane (eVACNFs) are proposed as a robust high friction fibrillar material with a compliant backing. Carbon nanofibers with 50-150 nm in diameter and 20-30 μm in length are vertically grown on silicon and transferred completely inside an elastomer by vacuum molding. By using time controlled and selective oxygen plasma etching, fibers are partially released up to 5 μm length. Macroscale friction experiments show that eVACNFs exhibit reproducible effective friction coefficients up to 1. Besides high friction, the proposed fabrication method improves fiber-substrate bond strength, and enables uniform height nanofibers with a compliant backing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number061906
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007


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