Click to view Peter Parker needed a radioactive spider bite to be able to climb walls. And Mohinder Suresh joined the wall-climber club after downing his superpower formula, and we all know that doesn’t end well. So, rather than have us expose ourselves to unpredictable mutations, a pair of researchers have developed a material that will let you let you stick to the ceiling without the unfortunate side effects.Liming Dai of the University of Dayton and Zhong Lin Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology reported that they have developed a super Post-It material that can come unstuck with a deliberate tug, but is 10 times stickier than the feet of some geckos and lizards:
Liming Dai and Zhong Lin Wang said that they developed their artificial setae by growing nested carbon nanotubes on a silicon wafer. The researchers controlled the growth process to make a forest of vertical nanotube trunks turning into a canopy of tangled ends on top. The curly entangled mess acted like natural spatulae: when pressed against a surface, they had a large contact area and hence a strong hold. The group tested the new material for stickiness on surfaces ranging from Teflon to sandpaper. It was found that when attached to a glass surface, a single square centimetre of it could support 1600g when pulled roughly parallel to the surface, three times better than the best artificial competitor.
No word yet as to whether the researchers have tested it by attempting to scale a skyscraper. Spider-Man's sticky suit gets real [The Times of India]