Large gecko mimetic tapes as new joining technology
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Adhesive tapes have been widely used throughout the space business in different applications. The use of a Gecko based adhesive systems could offer improvements in strength, environmental resistance, ease of application and surface compatibility. In addition the "dry" reversible adhesion which can be achieved by Gecko type systems could offer alternatives to mechanical gripping of delicate items or in applications where a removable/reversible element is required e.g. in spacesuits. The realization and characterization of mimetic dry adhesive is routinely performed in many laboratories worldwide but is typically limited to small surfaces size (typically a few square mm) and using technologies which cannot be scaled to cheap and large scale production. Here we show the growth of vertically aligned multiwall carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) both on rigid and flexible metallic substrates with the realization of hierarchical structures by means of lithographic techniques integrated with CNTs for the realization of cm square samples that show gecko adhesive properties. Despite this solution is challenging and extremely innovative interesting results have been achieved.