from the conferences organized by TANGER Ltd. provisional website
Hierarchical plant surface structures show many characteristics that are an inspiration for humans. They are associated with the process of photosynthesis and provide a hydrophobic or a hydrophilic behaviour, an absorption of solar radiation, etc. Due to evaluation of synthetic analogical structures we are able to obtain important information about their potential applicability in a technical practice. The easiest way to prepare them is a two-stage replication process. This process involves the creation of the so-called first replica, that is the mould for the second replica - the “copy” of natural surface. Replicas can be made from various types of polymers. The aim of the paper is to compare the influence of different types of polymers on the character and quality of synthetic structures - replicas. A hierarchical structure of the pansy flower (Viola x wittrockiana) was selected as a replication pattern. The silicone elastomer President Light Body (Coltene Wahledent, Hamburg, Germany) was used for the first (negative) replicas preparation. Thermoset (EP), thermoplastic (HDPE), biodegradable polymers (PCL, PLA), as well as aqueous (PVA) and alcoholic polymer solutions (PVB) were used to create the second (positive) replicas. Replicas quality was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (Carl Zeiss ULTRA Plus) and by contact angle measuring (See System E). Different hierarchical surface structures and different contact angles were identified according to types of polymers (amorphous, semi-crystalline, chemical composition) and used technology of replication. Easy, fast and a low cost replication process can be used for copying structures up to hundreds/tens of nanometers.Keywords: Nanostructures, biomimetics, hierarchical plant surfaces, replication, polymers
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