biomimetic design, reversible adhesion, composite, cross-scale, robotics


Bio-inspired reversible adhesion has significant potential in many fields requiring flexible grasping and manipulation, such as precision manufacturing, flexible electronics, and intelligent robotics. Despite extensive efforts for adhesive synthesis with a high adhesion strength at the interface, an effective strategy to actively tune the adhesion capacity between a strong attachment and an easy detachment spanning a wide range of scales has been lagged. Herein, we report a novel soft-hard-soft sandwiched composite design to achieve a stable, repeatable, and reversible strong adhesion with an easily scalable performance for a large area ranging from ~1.5 to 150 cm2 and a high load ranging from ~20 to 700 N. Theoretical studies indicate that this design can enhance the uniform loading for attachment by restraining the lateral shrinkage in the natural state, while facilitate a flexible peeling for detachment by causing stress concentration in the bending state, yielding an adhesion switching ratio of ~54 and a switching time of less than ~0.2 s. This design is further integrated into versatile grippers, climbing robots, and human climbing grippers, demonstrating its robust scalability for a reversible strong adhesion. This biomimetic design bridges microscopic interfacial interactions with macroscopic controllable applications, providing a universal and feasible paradigm for adhesion design and control.

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