On the role of the van der Waals interaction in gecko adhesion: a DFT perspective

Shuttleworth, I.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-8655-9718, 2020. On the role of the van der Waals interaction in gecko adhesion: a DFT perspective. Results in Materials, 6: 100080. ISSN 2590-048X

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The significance of the van der Waals (vdW) interaction in the adhesion mechanism of geckos to surfaces is estimated quantitatively using dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT). A complete survey of the pairwise energies for the elements present in gecko epithelia, soda lime glass and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) shows that the van der Waals interaction plays a minor role in the binding between the atoms in the epithelia and the glass and PTFE substrates. Using a simplified microscopic model for the geckos epithelium, DFT predicts strong (weak) binding between the gecko and glass (PTFE) surfaces, both with and without the vdW interaction. This is in agreement with experimental observations, and is highly suggestive that dispersive interactions only play a minor role in gecko adhesion to glass and PTFE surfaces.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Results in Materials
Creators: Shuttleworth, I.G.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: June 2020
Volume: 6
ISSN: 2590-048X
S2590048X20300224Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync-nd/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 23 Mar 2020 15:26
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 15:20
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39445

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