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Colloquium | Nanoscience and Technology

Bioinspired Nanoengineered Surfaces: Opportunities and Challenges

NST Colloquium

Abstract: Nature-inspired surface nanopatterning can impart antireflectivity, the ability to repel water (rain/fog), oils, and bacteria, as well as to prevent or delay ice formation. As such, it offers unparalleled opportunities in engineering of new multifunctional substrates or difficult-to-realize material-property combinations. For example, displays, luminescent solar concentrators, or solar cells, all require transparency, antireflection, and haze control. Yet, depending on deployment conditions, the reliability of these optical properties is challenged upon exposure to various stresses (condensation, biofouling etc.), building a need for multifunctionality.

In such nanopatterning, control over pitch, aspect ratio, and shape of the features is essential to delineate the performance boundary. In this talk, I will focus on the recent advances we have made in tailored nanostructuring of silicon and glass by employing block copolymers. I will address the difficulty of glass processing and present a fabrication concept that utilizes dynamic nanoscale tunability of the side-wall profile and aspect ratio, yielding customized nanoarrays. The method constitutes a generic solution for enhancing etching selectivity to elicit deep structures from thin, soft masks. Finally, I will discuss an example of multifunctionality – glass with excellent broadband omnidirectional antireflectivity, self-cleaning, and antibacterial activity, as well as that of universal antifogging ability of cone structures at nanoscales.

Bio: Dr Martyna Michalska is an Assistant Professor in Nanomanufacturing in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing Futures Lab at University College London (UCL). She received her PhD in Physical Sciences from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory and UCL’s Electronic and Electrical Engineering.