Superhydrophobic gecko feet with high adhesive forces towards water and their bio-inspired materials

Kesong Liu, Jiexing Du, Juntao Wu, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

219 Citations (Scopus)


Functional integration is an inherent characteristic for multiscale structures of biological materials. In this contribution, we first investigate the liquid-solid adhesive forces between water droplets and superhydrophobic gecko feet using a high-sensitivity micro-electromechanical balance system. It was found, in addition to the well-known solid-solid adhesion, the gecko foot, with a multiscale structure, possesses both superhydrophobic functionality and a high adhesive force towards water. The origin of the high adhesive forces of gecko feet to water could be attributed to the high density nanopillars that contact the water. Inspired by this, polyimide films with gecko-like multiscale structures were constructed by using anodic aluminum oxide templates, exhibiting superhydrophobicity and a strong adhesive force towards water. The static water contact angle is larger than 150° and the adhesive force to water is about 66 μN. The resultant gecko-inspired polyimide film can be used as a "mechanical hand" to snatch micro-liter liquids. We expect this work will provide the inspiration to reveal the mechanism of the high-adhesive superhydrophobic of geckos and extend the practical applications of polyimide materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-772
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this