Tuning Hierarchical Topographical and Chemical Surface Patterns
Konstantinos Roumpos, University of Freiburg
Prof. Günter Reiter, University of Freiburg
The objectives of this research project are to generate and study the evolution of hierarchical topographical patterns in thin polymer films governed by film instabilities and the release of elastic energy stored in these films, to study directed crystallization processes in thin polymer films, which generate regular topographical features on a multitude of length-scales, and to investigate the coupling between film instabilities and crystallization processes in thin polymer bilayers. Through this project, we will identify and establish physical processes of pattern formation in thin polymer films. The resulting patterns will be compared with patterns found on plant surfaces, like three-dimensional epicuticular wax crystals and/or cuticular folds. Relations between the functionality of plant surfaces (controlling adhesion, low wettability, mechanical stability) and characteristic surface features will be established by attempting to reproduce the patterns observed on plant surfaces with polymeric thin film systems. Further to this, the underlying pattern formation processes elucidated in thin polymer film studies will be compared to processes used by Nature in the case of plant surfaces.