Authors Hensel, R. ; Helbig, R. ; Aland, S. ; Voigt, A. ; Neinhuis, C. ; Werner, C.
Title Tunable nano-replication to explore the omniphobic characteristics of springtail skin
Date 13.02.2013
Number 34182
Abstract Springtails (Collembola) are wingless arthropods adapted to cutaneous respiration in temporarily rain-flooded and microbially contaminated habitats by a non-wetting and antiadhesive skin surface that is mechanically rather stable. Recapitulating the robust and effectively repellent surface characteristics of springtail skin in engineered materials may offer exciting opportunities for demanding applications, but it requires a detailed understanding of the underlying design principles. Towards this aim and based on our recent analysis of the structural features of springtail skin, we developed a tunable polymer replication process to dissect the contributions of different structural elements and surface chemistry to the omniphobic performance of the cuticle. The Cassie–Wenzel transition at elevated pressures was explored by in situ plastron collapse experiments and by numerical FEM simulations. The results obtained unravel the decisive role of nanoscopic cuticle structures for the protection of springtails against wetting, and explain how the evolved nanotopography enables the production of omniphobic surfaces even from intrinsically hydrophilic polymer materials.
Publisher NPG Asia Materials
Citation NPG Asia Materials 5 (2013) e37 [6 pages]
Tags collembola cuticle omniphobic replication superhydrophobic states wetting properties water-repellent plant-surfaces collembola transition resistance resolution stability roughness

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