Tunable Surface Wrinkles for Smart Adhesion

Primary Inventors: 

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.

  • Pressure-sensitive adhesives
  • Friction modifying surfaces (e.g., contact lenses)
  • Adhesive particles for cosmetics (e.g., hair gels, lotions)
  • 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 substrates
Licensing Status: 
Available for Licensing or Sponsored Research
Patent Status: 

Patent Pending

UMA 08-30
For More Information: 

Ling X. Shen, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Senior Licensing Officer
Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property
Phone: 413-545-5276
E-mail: lxshen@research.umass.edu