Hierarchical bioinspired adhesive surfaces – a review

The extraordinary adherence and climbing agility of geckos on rough surfaces has been attributed to the multiscale hierarchical structures on their feet. Hundreds of thousands of elastic hairs called setae , each of which split into several spatulae , create a large number of contact points that generate substantial adhesion through van der Waals interactions. The hierarchical architecture provides increased structural compliance on surfaces with roughness features ranging from micrometers to millimeters. We review synthetic adhesion surfaces that mimic the naturally occurring hierarchy with an emphasis on microfabrication strategies, material choice and the adhesive performance achieved.