Surfaces with switchable and adaptive adhesion

Group leader


Ugo Sidoli (PhD student)
Ivan Raguzin (PostDoc)
Madeleine Schwarzer (PhD student)
Jakob Mühldorfer (Masterstudent)

Progress in adhesion technology over the last few decades has led to widespread replacement of mechanical fasteners with adhesive bonds. Despite the advances, it remains challenging to produce materials that are sticky on demand. One way to tune adhesion is to change geometry, the strategy that is implemented in natural adhesives of gecko lizards and which has been mimicked in synthetic equivalents. Another approach is to fabricate surfaces with controlled chemical functionality. In this approach, smart surfaces are generated from chemically heterogeneous thin polymer films covalently bonded to solid substrates, therefore allowing modifying their surface chemistry in a well-controlled and reproducible way. Therefore, we aim to design synthetic systems based on comb-like random, block copolymer brushes grown from flat and rough substrates which are able to self-tune their adhesion behaviour depending on the substrate to which they are applied and environmental conditions (pH, temperature, humidity, solvent).



Selected publications:

  • Synytska, A. ; Biehlig, E. ; Ionov, L. Adaptive PEG-PDMS brushes: effect of architecture on adhesiveness in air and under water more Macromolecules 47 (2014) 8377–8385
  • Synytska, A. ; Svetlichny, V. ; Martina, D. ; Bellmann, C. ; Simon, F. ; Ionov, L. ; Stamm, M. ; Creton, C. Intelligent materials with adaptive adhesion properties based on comb-like polymer brushes more Langmuir 28 (2012) 16444-16454
  • Kamperman, M. ; Synytska, A. Switchable adhesion by chemical functionality and topography more Journal of Materials Chemistry 22 (2012) 19390-19401
  • Svetushkina, E. ; Puretskiy, N. ; Ionov, L. ; Stamm, M. ; Synytska, A. A comparative study on switchable adhesion between thermoresponsive polymer brushes on flat and rough surfaces more Soft Matter 7 (2011) 5691-5696
  • Synytska, A. ; Svetushkina, E. ; Puretskiy, N. ; Stoychev, G. ; Berger, S. ; Ionov, L. ; Bellmann, C. ; Eichhorn, K.-J. ; Stamm, M. Biocompatible polymeric materials with switchable adhesion properties more Soft Matter 6 (2010) 5907-5914