Multiscale Hierarchical Surface Patterns by Coupling Optical Patterning and Thermal Shrinkage

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Herein, a simple hierarchical surface patterning method is presented by effectively combining buckling instability and azopolymer-based surface relief grating inscription. In this technique, submicron patterns are achieved using azopolymers, whereas the microscale patterns are fabricated by subsequent thermal shrinkage. The wetting characterization of various topographically patterned surfaces confirms that the method permits tuning of contact angles and choosing between isotropic and anisotropic wetting. Altogether, this method allows efficient fabrication of hierarchical surfaces over several length scales in relatively large areas, overcoming some limitations of fabricating multiscale roughness in lithography and also methods of creating merely random patterns, such as black silicon processing or wet etching of metals. The demonstrated fine-tuning of the surface patterns may be useful in optimizing surface-related material properties, such as wetting and adhesion, producing substrates that are of potential interest in mechanobiology and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15563-15571
Number of pages9
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • azopolymers
  • hierarchical surfaces
  • surface relief gratings
  • tunable wetting
  • wrinkling instability


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