9.0 MB (545.3 KB compressed)
1536 x 2048 pixels
13.0 x 17.3 cm ⏐ 5.1 x 6.8 in (300dpi)
ANDRE GEIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDRE GEIM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spiderman toy stuck to a glass ceiling. The 40 gram figure has a 0.5 centimetre square piece of 'gecko tape' on its hand. In 2000, a team in California discovered that geckos are equipped with billions of tiny hair-like structures (spatulae) on each toe. Intermolecular forces (van der Waals) are produced by the hairs, allowing geckos to climb. In 2003, Professor Geim's team at Manchester University produced a sticky tape, which mimicks the action of spatulae. Plastic pillars, only two thousandths of a millimetre tall, are attached to a flexible base so that the 'hairs' come into contact with the smallest undulations on a surface.
Model release not required. Property release not required.