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Shear Adhesion of Tapered Nanopillar Arrays

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journal contribution
posted on 23.03.2018, 20:06 by Younghyun Cho, Helen K. Minsky, Yijie Jiang, Kaiyang Yin, Kevin T. Turner, Shu Yang
Tapered nanopillars with various cross sections, including cone-shaped, stepwise, and pencil-like structures (300 nm in diameter at the base of the pillars and 1.1 μm in height), are prepared from epoxy resin templated by nanoporous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membranes. The effect of pillar geometry on the shear adhesion behavior of these nanopillar arrays is investigated via sliding experiments in a nanoindentation system. In a previous study of arrays with the same geometry, it was shown that cone-shaped nanopillars exhibit the highest adhesion under normal loading while stepwise and pencil-like nanopillars exhibit lower normal adhesion strength due to significant deformation of the pillars that occurs with increasing indentation depth. Contrary to the previous studies, here, we show that pencil-like nanopillars exhibit the highest shear adhesion strength at all indentation depths among three types of nanopillar arrays and that the shear adhesion increases with greater indentation depth due to the higher bending stiffness and closer packing of the pencil-like nanopillar array. Finite element simulations are used to elucidate the deformation of the pillars during the sliding experiments and agree with the nanoindentation-based sliding measurements. The experiments and finite element simulations together demonstrate that the shape of the nanopillars plays a key role in shear adhesion and that the mechanism is quite different from that of adhesion under normal loading.