Rice- and butterfly-wing effect inspired self-cleaning and low drag micro/nanopatterned surfaces in water, oil, and air flow
In search of new solutions to complex challenges, researchers are turning to living nature for inspiration. For example, special surface characteristics of rice leaves and butterfly wings combine the shark skin (anisotropic flow leading to low drag) and lotus leaf (superhydrophobic and self-cleaning) effects, producing the so-called rice and butterfly wing effect. In this paper, we study four microstructured surfaces inspired by rice leaves and fabricated with photolithography techniques. We also present a method of creating such surfaces using a hot embossing procedure for scaled-up manufacturing. Fluid drag, self-cleaning, contact angle, and contact angle hysteresis data are presented to understand the role of sample geometrical dimensions. Conceptual modeling provides design guidance when developing novel low drag, self-cleaning, and potentially antifouling surfaces for medical, marine, and industrial applications.