University of Massachusetts Amherst

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TUNABLE SURFACE WRINKLES FOR SMART ADHESION

LEAD INVENTORS:
Alfred J. Crosby, Ph.D. and Ryan Hayward, Ph.D.
DESCRIPTION
This invention provides a novel, reusable adhesive surface with a well-defined surface wrinkle pattern as well as a facile, scalable and economical method to directly fabricate a patterned adhesive using a bottom-up approach. The patterning process involves swelling a laterally confined polymer film to develop surface wrinkles and photopolymerizing the swelling agent to stabilize the wrinkles. The control of adhesion is determined by the wavelength of the surface wrinkles, which is directly proportional to the thickness of the polymer film. Various processing parameters such as the film thickness, the polymer or swelling agent material, and the degree of lateral confinement can be adjusted to tune and control adhesion to produce truly "smart" adhesives for a variety of commercial applications.
 
ADVANTAGES

  • Reusable, smart adhesives with highly tunable surface-wrinkle dimensions and adhesive properties
  • Enhanced control of adhesion provided by well-defined surface wrinkle patterns
  • Rapid, simple and scalable process for fabricating patterned adhesives
  • Low fabrication costs by eliminating the need of lithography for surface patterning
  • Wide choice of polymer systems for generating smart adhesives
  • Flexible patterning process amenable to both planar and non-planar substrate
 
APPLICATIONS

  • Pressure-sensitive adhesives
  • Friction modifying surfaces (e.g., contact lenses)
  • Adhesive particles for cosmetics (e.g., hair gels, lotions)
ABOUT THE INVENTORS
Dr. Crosby is a Professor in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at UMass Amherst. His research focuses on adhesion and friction of patterned interfaces, properties of polymer/nanoparticle composites, and mechanics of biomaterial structures. The Crosby research group uses various examples of hierarchical design and fabrication in nature to inspire the development of unique classes of materials and material interfacial/surface structures useful for various commercial applications.

 

Dr. Hayward is an Associate Professor in the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at UMass Amherst. His research interests include assembly of polymers and particles at interfaces, supramolecular polymers and polymer thin films, surface patterning, and polymeric structures for encapsulation and Delivery. The Hayward research group takes advantage of mechanical instabilities to reversibly generate topographic and chemical patterns as well as switch

AVAILABILITY:
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research
DOCKET:
UMA 08-30
PATENT STATUS:
US Patent 8,906,284 Issued
Contact:
Ling Shen
Senior Licensing Officer
University of Massachusetts
413-545-5276
lxshen@research.umass.edu
Inventor(s):
Edwin Chan
Alfred Crosby
Ryan Hayward
Keywords: