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Variation of the frictional anisotropy on ventral scales of snakes caused by nanoscale steps

Wu, W. 1; Yu, S. 2; Schreiber, P. 3; Dollmann, A. 3; Lutz, C. 1; Gomard, G. 1,2; Greiner, C. ORCID iD icon 3; Hölscher, H. ORCID iD icon 1
1 Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik (IMT), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Lichttechnisches Institut (LTI), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
3 Institut für Angewandte Materialien (IAM), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


The ventral scales of most snakes feature micron-sized fibril structures with nanoscale steps oriented towards the snake's tail. We examined these structures by microtribometry as well as atomic force microscopy (AFM) and observed that the nanoscale steps of the micro-fibrils cause a frictional anisotropy, which varies along the snake's body in dependence of the height of the nanoscale steps. A significant frictional behavior is detected when a sharp AFM tip scans the nanoscale steps up or down. Larger friction peaks appear during upward scans (tail to head direction), while considerably lower peaks are observed for downward scans (head to tail direction). This effect causes a frictional anisotropy on the nanoscale, i.e. friction along the head to tail direction is lower than in the opposite direction. The overall effect increases linearly with the step height of the micro-fibrils. Although the step heights are different for each snake, the general step height distribution along the body of the examined snakes follows a common pattern. The frictional anisotropy, induced by the step height distribution, is largest close to the tail, intermediate in the middle, and lower close to the head. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000123511
Veröffentlicht am 25.09.2020
DOI: 10.1088/1748-3190/ab9e51
Zitationen: 11
Web of Science
Zitationen: 11
Zitationen: 11
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Angewandte Materialien – Computational Materials Science (IAM-CMS)
Institut für Mikrostrukturtechnik (IMT)
Lichttechnisches Institut (LTI)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2020
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1748-3182, 1748-3190
KITopen-ID: 1000123511
HGF-Programm 43.22.01 (POF III, LK 01) Functionality by Design
Erschienen in Bioinspiration & biomimetics
Verlag Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd (IOP Publishing Ltd)
Band 15
Heft 5
Seiten Art.-Nr.: 056014
Nachgewiesen in Web of Science
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