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Lotus-leaf effect  
Biocompatible Materials » Project survey » Exploratory projects » Lotus-leaf effect
Background and description
The main idea of this project is to explore the correlation between surface structure, wettability, and contamination of different material surfaces in an approach inspired by the mechanisms of the so-called Lotus Effect. When a water droplet runs over a superhydrophobic surface, like a Lotus leaf, the droplet takes all the dirt with it from the surface, and the surface seems to be self-cleaning.

More specifically, the lotus leaf project includes: (i) preparation of micro- and nanopatterned surfaces using different techniques (ii) their topographical and chemical characterization, and (iii) pointing out and exploring possible applications The project is a close collaboration between the Dept. of Applied Physics and the Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers and GU. This is an example of collaboration between the Biocompatible Materials and the ELIS (also SSF) programmes.

Scientific results
The major result up to now, is the preparation of super-hydrophobic polymer (PDMS) surfaces by pulsed laser treatment. Micro- and nanofabrication has been combined to prepare micropatterned silicon samples that are used as templates for the molding of PDMS. The polymer samples are characterized by optical and electron microscopy, interferometry, AFM, contact angle and XPS. Electrical measurements to test the long-term durability are initiated. The typical sample size in this project is many square centimeters and the technique also enables the use of non-flat surfaces. Two papers are in preparation and the project will end in June 2005.
  SSF research programme: Biocompatible Materials
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