Underwater adhesive using solid–liquid polymer mixes

A. C. Chipara, T. Tsafack, P. S. Owuor, J. Yeon, C. E. Junkermeier, A. C.T. van Duin, S. Bhowmick, S. A.S. Asif, S. Radhakrishnan, J. H. Park, G. Brunetto, B. A. Kaipparettu, D. S. Galvão, M. Chipara, J. Lou, H. H. Tsang, M. Dubey, R. Vajtai, C. S. Tiwary, P. M. Ajayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Instantaneous adhesion between different materials is a requirement for several applications ranging from electronics to biomedicine. Approaches such as surface patterning, chemical cross-linking, surface modification, and chemical synthesis have been adopted to generate temporary adhesion between various materials and surfaces. Because of the lack of curing times, temporary adhesives are instantaneous, a useful property for specific applications that need quick bonding. However, to this day, temporary adhesives have been mainly demonstrated under dry conditions and do not work well in submerged or humid environments. Furthermore, most rely on chemical bonds resulting from strong interactions with the substrate such as acrylate based. This work demonstrates the synthesis of a universal amphibious adhesive solely by combining solid polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and liquid polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymers. While the dipole-dipole interactions are induced by a large electronegativity difference between fluorine atoms in PTFE and hydrogen atoms in PDMS, strong surface wetting allows the proposed adhesive to fully coat both substrates and PTFE particles, thereby maximizing the interfacial chemistry. The two-phase solid–liquid polymer system displays adhesive characteristics applicable both in air and water, and enables joining of a wide range of similar and dissimilar materials (glasses, metals, ceramics, papers, and biomaterials). The adhesive exhibits excellent mechanical properties for the joints between various surfaces as observed in lap shear testing, T-peel testing, and tensile testing. The proposed biocompatible adhesive can also be reused multiple times in different dry and wet environments. Additionally, we have developed a new reactive force field parameterization and used it in our molecular dynamics simulations to validate the adhesive nature of the mixed polymer system with different surfaces. This simple amphibious adhesive could meet the need for a universal glue that performs well with a number of materials for a wide range of conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Today Chemistry
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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