March 16, 2024
Delaware State University, Bank of America Building
US/Eastern timezone
See you all the the Fall 2024 Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 19 @ JLab/Zoom !

Sticking point: The Role of Quantum Mechanics in Gecko Wall Climbing, and How to Create Synthetic Gecko Tape.

Mar 16, 2024, 9:15 AM
BOA 217 (Delaware State University, Bank of America Building)

BOA 217

Delaware State University, Bank of America Building

1200 N. DuPont Highway Dover, DE 19901
Talk (15 minutes) BOA 217


Prof. Kausik Das (University of Maryland Eastern Shore)


This presentation would delve into the fascinating world of gecko locomotion, a topic that captivates both biologists and physicists alike. The remarkable ability of geckos to scale vertical surfaces and even traverse ceilings has long intrigued scientists, leading to groundbreaking insights at the intersection of biology and physics. Central to this ability are the billions of nano-sized hairs, known as setae, found on the feet of geckos. These setae adhere to surfaces not through conventional means like glue, suction, or mechanical grip, but via Van der Waals forces. These forces, though weak individually, collectively enable a gecko's remarkable adhesive capability.

Our presentation will explore the quantum mechanical nature of the Van der Waals force, a phenomenon emerging from the subtle interplay of interatomic forces between the minuscule tips of gecko setae and the molecules of the wall surface. Additionally, we will introduce a simple yet innovative experiment designed for high school and undergraduate laboratories. This experiment aims to synthesize a 'gecko tape', replicating the gecko's natural adhesive properties using synthetic materials.

Primary author

Prof. Kausik Das (University of Maryland Eastern Shore)

Presentation materials