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Mimicking bug-like surface structures and their fluid transport produced by ultrashort laser pulse irradiation of steel

: Kirner, V. Sabrina; Hermens, Ulrike; Mimidis, Alexandros; Skoulas, Evangelos; Florian, Camilo; Hischen, Florian; Plamadeala, Cristina; Baumgartner, Werner; Winands, Kai; Mescheder, Holger; Krüger, Jörg; Solis, Javier; Siegel, Jan; Stratakis, Emmanuel; Bonse, Jörn


Applied physics. A 123 (2017), Art. 754, 13 pp.
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7250
ISSN: 0947-8396 (Print)
ISSN: 1432-0630 (Online)
European Commission EC
H2020; 665337; LiNaBioFluid
Laser-induced Nanostructures as Biomimetic Model of Fluid Transport in the Integument of Animals
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPT ()
Fertigungstechnik; Lasermaterialbearbeitung

Ultrashort laser pulses with durations in the fsto-ps range were used for large area surface processing of steel aimed at mimicking the morphology and extraordinary wetting behaviour of bark bugs (Aradidae) found in nature. The processing was performed by scanning the laser beam over the surface of polished flat sample surfaces. A systematic variation of the laser processing parameters (peak fluence and effective number of pulses per spot diameter) allowed the identification of different regimes associated with characteristic surface morphologies (laser-induced periodic surface structures, i.e., LIPSS, grooves, spikes, etc.). Moreover, different laser processing strategies, varying laser wavelength, pulse duration, angle of incidence, irradiation atmosphere, and repetition rates, allowed to achieve a range of morphologies that resemble specific structures found on bark bugs. For identifying the ideal combination of parameters for mimicking bug-like structures, the surfaces were inspected by scanning electron microscopy. In particular, tilted micrometre-sized spikes are the best match for the structure found on bark bugs. Complementary to the morphology study, the wetting behaviour of the surface structures for water and oil was examined in terms of philic/ phobic nature and fluid transport. These results point out a route towards reproducing complex surface structures inspired by nature and their functional response in technologically relevant materials.