Thermal Photovoltaic Cells
EP12: Materials Frontiers in Semiconductor Advanced Packaging

Gecko Feet

The Gecko's feet stick to surfaces through simple van der waals forces.  The physics is simple, but the execution is quite difficult; the gecko accomplishes this feat using hair-like structures on their feet that split into small and flexible branches that are only 200nm thick.  John Main, of the defense sciences office at DARPA, points out  our current technology cannot easily replicate these structures; however, we can still use our technology to replicate the result.  This has been done, in the case of gecko feet, by micromachining a vast array of shapes into materials to maximize surface area contact and van der waals forces.  I mention this because it made me think of the vast array of miraculous technologies that nature achieves every day; how plants can convert sunlight to chemical energy and consume carbon dioxide in tandem, how starfish regenerate limbs, or how an octopus changes color to blend in with its environment; the list goes on.  We need not necessarily reproduce the structure that these lifeforms use, but we can still replicate the results in our own way.  


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)