Browsing by Author "Neubauer, Jens W."
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- ItemMonitoring the contact stress distribution of gecko-inspired adhesives using mechano-sensitive surface coatings(Washington D.C. : American Chemical Society, 2018) Neubauer, Jens W.; Xue, Longjian; Erath, Johann; Drotlef, Dirk-Michael; del Campo, Aránzazu; Fery, AndreasThe contact geometry of microstructured adhesive surfaces is of high relevance for adhesion enhancement. Theoretical considerations indicate that the stress distribution in the contact zone is crucial for the detachment mechanism, but direct experimental evidence is missing so far. In this work, we propose a method that allows, for the first time, the detection of local stresses at the contact area of biomimetic adhesive microstructures during contact formation, compression and detachment. We use a mechano-sensitive polymeric layer, which turns mechanical stresses into changes of fluorescence intensity. The biomimetic surface is brought into contact with this layer in a well-defined fashion using a microcontact printer, while the contact area is monitored with fluorescence microscopy in situ. Thus, changes in stress distribution across the contact area during compression and pull-off can be visualized with a lateral resolution of 1 μm. We apply this method to study the enhanced adhesive performance of T-shaped micropillars, compared to flat punch microstructures. We find significant differences in the stress distribution of the both differing contact geometries during pull-off. In particular, we find direct evidence for the suppression of crack nucleation at the edge of T-shaped pillars, which confirms theoretical models for the superior adhesive properties of these structures.