Approximating gecko setae via direct laser lithography

Omar Tricinci*, Eric V. Eason, Carlo Filippeschi, Alessio Mondini, Barbara Mazzolai, Nicola M. Pugno, Mark R. Cutkosky, Francesco Greco, Virgilio Mattoli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biomimetic replication of dry adhesion present in the gecko's foot has attracted great interest in recent years. All the microfabrication techniques used so far were not able to faithfully reproduce the hierarchical and complex three-dimensional geometry of the gecko's setae, with features at the micro- and nano-scale, thus reducing the effectiveness that such conformal morphology could provide. By means of direct laser lithography we fabricated artificial hairs that faithfully reproduce the natural model. This technique allows the fabrication of three-dimensional microstructures with outstanding results in terms of reproducibility and resolution at the micro- and nano-scale. It was possible to get very close to the morphology of the natural gecko setae, especially concerning the hierarchical shape. We designed several morphologies for the setae and studied the effects in terms of adhesion and friction performances compared to the natural counterpart, showing the interplay between morphology, dimensional scaling and materials. Direct laser lithography promises great applications in the biomimetics field, paving the way to the implementation of the concept of hierarchical bioinspired dry adhesives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075009
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • biomimetic hierarchical materials
  • biomimetics
  • dry adhesion
  • gecko
  • two-photon lithography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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