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Topography / Surface forces measurements

Macroscopic properties of surfaces are determined significantly by their topography and roughness on micro and nano scale. Extreme wetting and adhesion phenomena as, e.g., ultrahydrophobicity, soil release or the adhesion of gecko feet are based on a hierarchical structuring of these surfaces. By means of different optical and mechanical methods we determine the topography / morphology and roughness of surfaces on micrometer and nanometer scale.

AFM force measurements using the colloid probe technique allow the quantitative measurement of interaction forces as function of the distance between two surfaces in various media as well as the investigation of swelling and adsorption effects.

Main topics:

  • Quantitative determination of topography and roughness parameters as basis for understanding wetting and adhesion phenomena
  • Investigation of the effect of manufacturing parameters on topography and roughness of technical  surfaces and their resulting wettability, paintability or fouling
  • Development of structured anti-adhesive and self-cleaning coatings
  • Quantitative analysis of interaction forces between responsive surfaces (e.g. switchable polymer    brushes) and micro particles
  • Control of adhesion on technical surfaces e.g. by surfactant adsorption