Fabrication of Micro/Nano Patterns on Polymeric Substrates Using Laser Ablation Methods to Control Wettability Behaviour: A Critical Review
The fabrication of micro/nano patterned surfaces using femtosecond laser micromachining technique has emerged in recent years as a new method. This is due to its applicability to virtually all kinds of materials in an easy one-step process, which is scalable. Here we present a review of the effects of femtosecond laser ablation process parameters such as laser fluence, scan speed, and beam overlap on the fabricated patterns on various polymeric materials: PTFE, PLA, PMMA, PDMS, and medical grade-PVC. In addition, it presents the physical and chemical properties of fabricated microchannels. SEM, XPS, profilometry, and water contact angle measurments are used to characterize the surface chemical, morphological, and wetting properties. The surface morphology and thus the wetting properties can be altered by tuning the laser parameters. By introducing micro/nano roughness to the surface of hydrophobic polymers, extreme water repellency and superhydrophobicity is developed. Various applications of these fabricated superhydrophobic substrates in biomedical, packaging, fuel cells, low friction, self-cleaning are also discussed to a certain extent. Surfaces with superhydrophobic properties are mainly obtained by a combination of appropriate morphology at micro- and/or nanoscale and low surface energy material.
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