Gecko toe pads inspired: in situ switchable superhydrophobic shape memory adhesive film

Yongzhen Wang, Hua Lai, Zhongjun Cheng, Haiyang Zhang, Enshuang Zhang, Tong Lv, Yuyan Liu, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, smart adhesive superhydrophobic surfaces have attracted much attention. However, it is still a challenge to obtain a superhydrophobic surface with shape memory adhesive performance. Herein, inspired by the special back-scrolling/unfolding ability of gecko toe pads and corresponding tunable adhesion, we report such a film produced by sticking a layer of superhydrophobic pillar structured polyurethane (s-PU) onto a shape memory polyurethane-cellulose nanofiber (PU-CNF) substrate to mimic the hair-like skin structure and underlying muscle of the gecko toe pads, respectively. Similar to the muscle of the gecko toe pads, the excellent shape memory effect of the PU-CNF substrate can help the obtained film to memorize and repeatedly display different shapes and solid/water contact models. Thus reversible switching between multiple states from the low-adhesive rolling performance to the high-adhesive pinning performance can be realized. Meanwhile, based on its smart wetting performance, not only the traditional in situ capture/release of one microdroplet, but also the step-by-step release of different droplets can be realized on our film. This work reports a new superhydrophobic shape memory adhesive film, which offers a novel strategy for surface adhesion control and meanwhile opens a new road for applications in controlled droplet manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8984-8993
Number of pages10
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

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