Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Coating copies microscopic biological surfaces

Carlo G. Pantano, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and director, Penn State's Materials Research Institute holds conventional doubly refracting glass which requires 15 or more alternating layers of two materials with precisely controlled thicknesses. The CEFR technique yields doubly refracting characteristics through deposition of only one coating, nanostructured by the biotemplate. He stands before equipment used for this technique.

Credit: Greg Grieco, Penn State
Carlo G. Pantano, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and director, Penn State's Materials Research Institute holds conventional doubly refracting glass which requires 15 or more alternating layers of two materials with precisely controlled thicknesses. The CEFR technique yields doubly refracting characteristics through deposition of only one coating, nanostructured by the biotemplate. He stands before equipment used for this technique.

Credit: Greg Grieco, Penn State

Abstract:
Someday, your car might have the metallic finish of some insects or the deep black of a butterfly's wing, and the reflectors might be patterned on the nanostructure of a fly's eyes, according to Penn State researchers who have developed a method to rapidly and inexpensively copy biological surface structures.

Coating copies microscopic biological surfaces

PA | Posted on September 17th, 2008

"Only a small fraction of mutations in evolutionary processes are successful," says Akhlesh Lakhtakia, the Charles Godfrey Binder (Endowed) Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics. "But, evolution has gone on for at least a billion years. A huge range of biological surface architectures have been created and are available."

Lakhtakia and his colleagues, Carlo G. Pantano, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and director of Penn State's Materials Research Institute, and Raúl J. Martín-Palma, visiting professor, Penn State, and professor department of applied physics, Universidad Autónomia de Madrid, used the conformal evaporated film by rotation (CEFR) technique, to produce coatings that capture the micro and nano structure of biological surfaces in a thin coating of glass. The results appear in recent issues of Applied Physics Letters and Nanotechnology.

In the CEFR technique, the researchers thermally evaporate the material that forms the coating in a vacuum chamber. The object receiving the coating is fixed to a holder and rotated about once every two seconds. The researchers have coated butterfly wings and a fly, creating replicas of these templates with identical surface characteristics. The researchers are using chalcogenide glasses composed of varying combinations of germanium, antimony and selenium.

"With the right temperature, which is room temperature, and the right pressure and rotation speed, the coating process takes about 10 minutes and deposits a 500- nanometer layer," says Lakhtakia.

Some biostructures, such as moth's eyes, which are duplicated to produce moth's-eye lenses, can be mechanically created by engineers, but it is painstaking and expensive work. These lenses, that capture nearly all available light, have applications in optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications. Other biostructures do not lend themselves to synthetic reproduction.

"In that case, perhaps we need to replicate the actual structure," says Lakhtakia. "One insect has an iridescent shell that does not change colors as many shiny ones do. No one has made this type of material artificially because we do not know the mechanism by which it retains its color, but making a template from the actual insect would replicate the fine structure of the surface."

Many things in the natural world are colored not by pigment, but by surface structure. The way light interacts with the surface creates the color, rather than any tint or chemical. Reproducing the surface reproduces the color. Surface properties include not just visible light characteristics, but also infra red, thermal, stickiness and other characteristics.

Martín-Palma, Pantano and Lakhtakia's work creates either a replica template or a mold depending on what they coat. The replica of a template can be used to create a mold in a harder, less damageable material to make many copies. Molds can be combined and multiplied to create the desired surfaces.

The researchers initially looked at surfaces with optical properties because they are easy to see and identify. The structural black of some butterflies invites investigation of thermal properties as well. Creating surfaces that have micro or nanoscale patterns on solar cells, heat exchangers, reflectors and lenses can produce devices that work more efficiently.

"The whole world of biomimetics and bioinspiration is just beginning to emerge," says Martín-Palma. "Butterfly wings come in a large variety of surface structures. Eventually we may be able to take these biological structures and modify them to create other properties that do not already exist on biological surfaces."

While the researchers are still experimenting with butterfly wings, they would like to use CEFR on lotus leaves because they are super hydrophobic. Surfaces that repel water could be very useful. They also plan to look at other plant materials as potential surfaces for solar cells. Lakhtakia and Martín-Palma are organizing a small conference next year on biomimetics and bionispiration.

Pantano suggested the use of chalcogenide glass for its infrared properties, but the researchers have also tried other glasses and materials like polymers to reproduce other surfaces and their properties.

This work was supported by the Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia (Spain) and the Penn State National Science Foundation National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. The researchers have filed a provisional patent application on this work.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
A'ndrea Elyse Messer

814-865-9481

Copyright © Penn State

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Ultra-short pulse lasers & Positioning August 21st, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Discoveries

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Shaping the Future of Nanocrystals: Berkeley Lab Researchers Obtain First Direct Observation of Facet Formation in Nanocubes August 21st, 2014

Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014

Promising Ferroelectric Materials Suffer From Unexpected Electric Polarizations: Brookhaven Lab scientists find surprising locked charge polarizations that impede performance in next-gen materials that could otherwise revolutionize data-driven devices August 18th, 2014

Nano Bonds Increase Raw Strength of Fireproof Concretes August 18th, 2014

Announcements

Tissue regeneration using anti-inflammatory nanomolecules August 22nd, 2014

A breakthrough in imaging gold nanoparticles to atomic resolution by electron microscopy August 22nd, 2014

Malvern’s Dr Alan Rawle talks TLAs in plenary lecture at Particulate Systems Analysis conference August 21st, 2014

Water window imaging opportunity: A new theoretical study elucidates mechanisms that could help in producing coherent radiations, ultimately promoting high-contrast imaging of biological samples August 21st, 2014

Automotive/Transportation

New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials August 4th, 2014

A protecting umbrella against oxygen: Toward fuel cells built from renewable and abundant components - Scientists from Bochum und Mülheim report in NATURE Chemistry August 4th, 2014

Stanford researchers seek 'Holy Grail' in battery design: Pure lithium anode closer to reality with development of protective layer of interconnected carbon domes August 1st, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE