text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
News
design element
News
News From the Field
For the News Media
Special Reports
Research Overviews
NSF-Wide Investments
Speeches & Lectures
NSF Current Newsletter
Multimedia Gallery
News Archive
News by Research Area
Arctic & Antarctic
Astronomy & Space
Biology
Chemistry & Materials
Computing
Earth & Environment
Education
Engineering
Mathematics
Nanoscience
People & Society
Physics
 

Email this pagePrint this page


Press Release 05-140
Carbon Nanotubes Made to Stick Like a Gecko's Foot

Nanotubes in the artificial gecko foot.

A side view of the artificial gecko foot, showing a dense carpet of carbon nanotubes.
Credit and Larger Version

August 15, 2005

Renowned for their ability to walk up walls like miniature Spider-Men--or even to hang from the ceiling by one toe--the colorful lizards of the gecko family owe their wall-crawling prowess to their remarkable footpads. Each five-toed foot is covered with microscopic elastic hairs called setae, which are themselves split at the ends to form a forest of nanoscale fibers known as spatulas. So when a gecko steps on almost anything, these nano-hairs make such extremely close contact with the surface that they form intermolecular bonds, thus holding the foot in place.

Now, polymer scientist Ali Dhinojwala of the University of Akron and his colleagues have shown how to create a densely packed carpet of carbon nanotubes that functions like an artificial gecko foot--but with 200 times the gecko foot's gripping power. Potential applications include dry adhesives for microelectronics, information technology, robotics, space and many other fields.

The group's work was funded by the National Science Foundation, and is reported in a recent issue of the journal Chemical Communications.

For more information, see the University of Akron news release.

-NSF-

Media Contacts
M. Mitchell Waldrop, NSF, (703) 292-7752, mwaldrop@nsf.gov
Ken Torisky, University of Akron, (330) 972-7299, torisky@uakron.edu

Principal Investigators
Ali Dhinojwala, University of Akron, (330) 972-6246, ali4@uakron.edu

Related Websites
Dhinojwala Research Group Web-Page: http://tinyurl.com/8reyo
The University of Akron news release: http://www.uakron.edu/news/articles/uamain_1293.php
Chemical Communications paper: http://www.rsc.org/publishing/journals/CC/article.asp?doi=b506047h

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2014, its budget is $7.2 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/

 

A top view of the artificial gecko foot
A top view of the completed artificial gecko foot.
Credit and Larger Version



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page