For years, materials scientists have been trying to catch up with geckos. Adhesives that, like gecko feet, are dry, powerful, reusable, and self-cleaning could help robots climb walls or hold together electrical components, even in the harsh conditions of outer space. But it’s been difficult to design strong adhesives that can be lifted back up again. Now researchers have developed an adhesive made of carbon nanotubes whose structure closely mimics that of gecko feet. It’s 10 times more adhesive than the lizards’ feet and, like the natural adhesive, easy to lift back up. And it works on a variety of surfaces, including glass and sandpaper.
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