Spiders, beetles, and geckos as well have shown us the path of how to do it, because of the special type of adhesive elements they have on their feet they are easily able to run on the ceiling or walls as well. The science related to bionics tries to copy and control these types of the biological functions for different technological applications and the development of artificial materials also.
Recently a research team from the Kiel University has succeeded in improving the adhesive effect of a silicone material to the certain extent. For this, the team used the combination of two types of methods: firstly what they did is properly given structure to the surface on the microscale based example of beetle feet. After this, they treated it with the plasma.
In addition to this, they learned that the adhesiveness related to the structured material keep on changing if it is made to undergo varying degrees. The result obtained could be possibly very helpful for the creation of small robots and some gripping devices as well. The results have published in the new edition of scientific journals Advanced Materials and ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
Different types of the synthetic, as well as elastic materials like silicone elastomers, is very popular. They have various interesting properties like flexibility, cost-efficient, reusability and are extremely easy to produce. This is the reason why they are used as seals or for insulation or corrosion protection. Because of the low surface energy they have, they are not at all adhesive. This is why it becomes really difficult to do things like for example paint the silicone surfaces.
Surfaces having mushroom-like microstructure have better adhesive properties
Two people form Functional Morphology and Biomechanics working group Professor Stanislav N. Gorb and Emre Kizilkan are working and researching in this field to determine what possibly can be done to make the adhesive properties related to these silicone elastomers better.
The example they are putting to mimic is the surface structure of some leaf beetles (male) which looks somewhat like the mushrooms. In the recent two studies, it has been discovered by them that the silicone elastomers shows best adhesive properties if the surface is modified into somewhat mushroom-like structure and after that, it is treated with the plasma specifically.
An electrically charged gas is the fourth state of matter along with the liquids, solids and other gases. Therefore researchers have used a combination of the geometrical and chemical method for the imitation of biology.