Switchable adhesion principle enables damage-free handling of sensitive devices even in vacuum

24 marzo 2015

Components with highly sensitive surfaces are used in automotive, semiconductor and display technologies as well as for complex optical lens systems. During the production, these parts often have to be handled many times by pick-and-place processes. Each pick-up and release with conventional gripping systems involves the risk of either contamination of the surfaces with residues from transportation adhesives, or damage due to mechanical gripping. Suction cup systems diminish residues, but fail in a vacuum or on rough surfaces. Researchers have now enhanced the Gecko adhesion principle such that adhesion can be switched on and off in vacuum.