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Issue 2, 2016
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The springtail cuticle as a blueprint for omniphobic surfaces

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Abstract

Omniphobic surfaces found in nature have great potential for enabling novel and emerging products and technologies to facilitate the daily life of human societies. One example is the water and even oil-repellent cuticle of springtails (Collembola). The wingless arthropods evolved a highly textured, hierarchically arranged surface pattern that affords mechanical robustness and wetting resistance even at elevated hydrostatic pressures. Springtail cuticle-derived surfaces therefore promise to overcome limitations of lotus-inspired surfaces (low durability, insufficient repellence of low surface tension liquids). In this review, we report on the liquid-repellent natural surfaces of arthropods living in aqueous or temporarily flooded habitats including water-walking insects or water spiders. In particular, we focus on springtails presenting an overview on the cuticular morphology and chemistry and their biological relevance. Based on the obtained liquid repellence of a variety of liquids with remarkable efficiency, the review provides general design criteria for robust omniphobic surfaces. In particular, the resistance against complete wetting and the mechanical stability strongly both depend on the topographical features of the nano- and micropatterned surface. The current understanding of the underlying principles and approaches to their technological implementation are summarized and discussed.

Graphical abstract: The springtail cuticle as a blueprint for omniphobic surfaces

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Article information


Submitted
30 May 2015
First published
04 Aug 2015

This article is Open Access

Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016,45, 323-341
Article type
Review Article
Author version available

The springtail cuticle as a blueprint for omniphobic surfaces

R. Hensel, C. Neinhuis and C. Werner, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2016, 45, 323 DOI: 10.1039/C5CS00438A

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