If you’re a fan of arts and crafts, you’re likely familiar with the messy, sticky, frustration-inducing nature of liquid glues. But researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces now have a brand-new way to weld squishy stuff together without the need for glue at all. They’ve demonstrated a universal, “electroadhesion” technique that can adhere soft materials to each other just by running electricity through them.
“Universal Way to ‘Glue’ Capsules and Gels into 3D Structures by Electroadhesion”
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Corresponding author: Srinivasa R. Raghavan, Ph.D.
Narrator: Trying to glue soft materials together can lead to sticky situations — literally! But what if you didn’t have to use glue at all?
Srini Raghavan’s team holds soft stuff together just by running electricity through it. The process is called “electroadhesion.” It may sound fancy, but all it requires are some household batteries. Charges on atoms or polymer chains form bonds when electricity is run through them. As long as the materials have opposite charges, they’ll stick! The team used the technique to build 3D structures out of squishy capsules. They also used electroadhesion to collect the charged capsules with this “finger robot.” This work could someday help create less painful stitches or sutures.