Efficient manufacturing of undercut or vaulted nano-scaled surfaces
Presented here is a very simple process of manufacturing undercut respectively vaulted surfaces with nano-scaled structures. Especially for cell culture and implantologic purposes those structures are of great interest. Compared to conventional techniques like two-photon polymerization, this present invention enables the rapid processing of large surface areas.
Micro- and nano-scaled surface structures are usually produced by excavating, constructing or transforming methods. Excavating methods include laser ablation and variations of etching techniques, while constructing methods comprise all sorts of (laser-aided) deposition or polymerization techniques (e.g. two-photon polymerization). Transforming methods include nanoimprinting as well as laser assisted direct imprint techniques.
The presented technique for producing a nano-scaled periodic structure comprises a first step during which a "hard layer" is deposited on a substrate-like fused silica. This layer can for example be an oxide layer like SiOx. In a second step, a "soft layer" is applied on top of this first layer in the form of a polymer layer or a liquid film. This so-called Confinement calms down the surface during the actual treatment.
A variety of different structures (among others on fused silica) has been produced. The surface structures itself can be controlled by a variety of parameters and include bubble- or tube-like cavities as well as self-supporting mesh wires and even nets that are completely detached from the substrate.
European patent granted. validated in DE: EP2857138B1