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Bioinspir Biomim. 2008 Dec;3(4):046002. doi: 10.1088/1748-3182/3/4/046002. Epub 2008 Sep 8.

A fast, precise and low-cost replication technique for nano- and high-aspect-ratio structures of biological and artificial surfaces.

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Nees Institute for Biodiversity of Plants, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universit├Ąt Bonn, Meckenheimer Allee 170, 53115 Bonn, Germany.


Biological surfaces are multifunctional interfaces between the organisms and their environment. Properties such as the wettability and adhesion of particles are linked to the micro- and nanostructures of their surfaces. In this study, we used plant and artificial surfaces covered with wax crystals to develop a low-cost replication technique with high resolution. The technique is applicable for fragile surface structures, as demonstrated for three-dimensional wax crystals, and is fast to prevent shrinking of the biological material by water loss during the molding process. Thermal evaporation of octacosan-1-ol has been used to create microstructured surfaces with small platelets as templates for molding. Epoxy resin as filling material provided the smallest deviations from the original surface structures and can be used for replication of nanostructures as small as 4.5 nm. Contact angle measurements of leaves and their replicas show that this technique can be used to develop biomimetic surfaces with similar wettability as in the plant surfaces.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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