Applying 3D direct laser writing, artificial hierarchical gecko-type structures are designed and fabricated down to nanometer dimensions. In this way, the elastic modulus and the length scale of the gecko's setae are very closely matched. Direct laser writing is a very flexible rapid prototyping method allowing the fabrication of arbitrary nanostructures. Since the parameters of the structures can be easily changed, this technique is perfect for design studies of dry adhesives. Measuring the adhesional forces by atomic force microscopy, the influence of several design parameters like density, aspect ratio, and tip-shape on dry adhesion performance are systematically examined. In this way, it is revealed that hierarchy is favorable for artificial gecko-inspired dry adhesives made of stiff materials on the nanometer scale.
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