Nitto Denko Group CSR & Annual Report 2011

ResearchandDevelopmentCSR & Annual Report 201123Development of Gecko Tape Using Carbon NanotubesCreating a new adhesive technology based on biomimicry researchIn the last few years, attention has focused on biomimicry technology, which applies technologies inspired by the natural world. The gecko tape which Nitto Denko has developed jointly with Professor Yoshikazu Nakayama of Osaka University is one example. The gecko is a reptile able to crawl without difficulty even up and down window panes of completely smooth glass despite having no suction cups or sticky substance on its feet. Its secret lies in the fine hairs which grow abundantly on its toepads. Each of these hairs establishes close contact with the surface of the wall or ceiling, even where it is uneven. By thus eliminating the intervening space, the hairs produce a high adhesive strength based on intermolecular force, which can be easily broken by altering the angle between the hair and the wall surface, allowing the gecko to walk across the wall. Nitto Denko has reproduced this gecko hair artificially using carbon nanotubes to create a tape which uses a mechanism quite different to that of conventional adhesives to provide strong adhesion and easy de-adhesion. The aim is commercialization of an adhesive product which avoids soiling the adherend and provides high adhesive strength and resistance to high temperatures. GeckoToepads of a geckoMagnification of toepads shows an abundant growth of fine hairsGecko tape; black area is ‘hair’ made of carbon nanotubes.Nitto Denko Group: focusing on “Green, Clean and Fine” to research and develop products that are friendly to the global environment and contribute to human health and amenityTOPICSGecko tape featured in ‘Smart-Eco’ exhibition on natural technologies and sustainable lifestylesNitto Denko also participated in an exhibition held at the National Museum of Nature and Science at Ueno in Tokyo from October 26, 2010, to February 6, 2011, exploring natural technologies, which imitate nature, and human lifestyles. The exhibition focused on natural technologies, which are inspired by various insights from the world of nature and living creatures, and sustainable lifestyles, which reduce the burden on the environment. The gecko tape outlined above was included in the exhibition and attracted fascinated attention from many visitors, especially elementary school children.