Reversible Adhesives

Student: Asger Agergaard and Anna Støckler

2019 Ph.d. Project: Magnus Hansen-Felby

Supervisors: Henrik Birkedal and Kim Daasbjerg

An Open Science project on reversible adhesives has been running during spring 2017 and will be revitalized in 2019 with a Ph.d. project by Magnus Hansen-Felby. The project have been providing interesting results worth building upon (Findings of the prior project is found here).

A general understanding of the underlying principles of reversibility of the adhesion between two non-specific materials is now sought investigated. The adhesive should preferably rely on catechol moieties possibly combined with trivalent metal ions for reversibility. To prove the principles of reversibility a demonstrator will be created as a general assessment of such properties. The project will involve design, synthesis and tests of candidate adhesives for both model and industrially relevant substrates.


Chemical synthesis and screening of adhesive behavior e.g. through shear mechanical testing. Additionally, investigations of structures of adhesives by various spectroscopies and/or rheology. This has so far been done using electrochemistry – but it would be interesting to be able to do it in non-conductive systems.


Industrial Applications

Many components in the industry is using adhesives. Electronic devices and wind turbine wings are using adhesives to stick components together. For the applicational purpose it is fine, but in perspective the components are very hard to recycle as we are unable to seperate the different materials afterwards. The prospect of reversible adhesives could have a huge potential in recyclability and circularity in industries relying on strong adhesives.

The perspective of research within reversible adhesives are of course broad and several other application areas could potentially be included and the scope expanded to include biopolymers, metals, plastics, etc.


If you’re interested in hearing more about this project, SPOMAN or want to hear about the possibilities for starting a collaboration, please contact us at