Peeling Force Spectroscopy: Exposing the Adhesive Nanomechanics of One-Dimensional Nanostructures

Mark Strus, Purdue Unversity
Luis Zalamea
Arvind Raman
Byron Pipes
Cattien Nguyen
E A. Stach, Birck Nanotechnology Center and School of Materials Engineering, Purdue University

Document Type Article

Published in Nano Letters Volume 8 Number 2, Pages 544-550, 2008.


The physics of adhesion and stiction of one-dimensional nanostructures such as nanotubes, nanowires, and biopolymers on different material substrates is of great interest for the study of biological adhesion and the development of nanoelectronics and nanocomposites. Here, we combine theoretical models and a new mode in the atomic force microscope to investigate quantitatively the physics of nanomechanical peeling of carbon nanotubes and nanocoils on different substrates. We demonstrate that when an initially straight nanotube is peeled from a surface, small perturbations can trigger sudden transitions between different geometric configurations of the nanotube with vastly different interfacial energies. This opens up the possibility of quantitative comparison and control of adhesion between nanotubes or nanowires on different substrates.