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6 March 2014 Laser-induced patterns on metals and polymers for biomimetic surface engineering
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One common feature of many functional surfaces found in nature is their modular composition often exhibiting several length scales. Prominent natural examples for extreme behaviors can be named in various plant leaf (rose, peanut, lotus) or animal toe surfaces (Gecko, tree frog). Influence factors of interest are the surface’s chemical composition, its microstructure, its organized or random roughness and hence the resulting surface wetting and adhesion character. Femtosecond (fs) laser micromachining offers a possibility to render all these factors in one single processing step on metallic and polymeric surfaces. Exemplarily, studies on Titanium and PTFE are shown, where the dependence of the resulting feature sizes on lasing intensity is investigated. While Ti surfaces show rigid surface patterns of micrometer scaled features with superimposed nanostructures, PTFE exhibits elastic hairy structures of nanometric diameter, which upon a certain threshold tend to bundle to larger features. Both surface patterns can be adjusted to mimic specific wetting and flow behaviour as seen on natural examples. Therefore, fs-laser micromachining is suggested as an interesting industrially scalable technique to pattern and fine-tune the surface wettability of a surface to the desired extends in one process step. Possible applications can be seen with surfaces, which require specific wetting, fouling, icing, friction or cell adhesion behaviour.
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Anne-Marie Kietzig, Jorge Lehr, Luke Matus, and Fang Liang "Laser-induced patterns on metals and polymers for biomimetic surface engineering", Proc. SPIE 8967, Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing (LAMOM) XIX, 896705 (6 March 2014);

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