In situ observation of contact mechanisms in bioinspired adhesives at high magnification

We analyzed the contact mechanisms of bioinspired microfibrillar adhesives using in situ scanning electron microscopy. During adhesion tests we observed that (i) the superior adhesion of mushroom-shaped fibrils is assisted by the stochastic nature of detachment, (ii) the aspect ratio of microfibrils influences the bending/buckling behavior and the contact reformation, and (iii) the backing layer deformation causes the microfibrils to elastically interact with each other. These studies give new insights into the mechanisms responsible for adhesion of bioinspired fibrillar adhesives.