No more cleaning: Lasers make the lotus effect on aircraft

Filigree engravings on external surfaces of aircraft are intended to ensure that airflow remains smooth and drag on the aircraft low. For this, engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS, the Technische Universität Dresden and Airbus have developed a laser process that produces textured surfaces at high throughput making surface contamination more difficult.
More details can be found at:

Biomimetic Surface Structuring Using Laser Based Interferometric Methods

Results of the work in the Laser4Fun project has been published as:

Andrés Fabián Lasagni, Sabri Alamri, Alfredo Ismael Aguilar-Morales, Florian Rößler, Bogdan Voisiat and Tim Kunze. Biomimetic Surface Structuring Using Laser Based Interferometric Methods. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(8), 1260


This review investigates the capabilities of laser-based interferometric methods for producing structures with multiple-scaled surface features imitating natural examples. Firstly, laser interference lithography is used to produce hierarchical patterns with length-scales in the micrometer and sub-micrometer range. Different strategies are discussed to produce a wide variety of periodic arrays, depending on the number of resist lasers used as well as the way in which the exposure steps are organized. After that, periodic patterns are fabricated on polymers using ns laser pulses from an UV-laser system. Additionally in this case, multiple-scale patterns are produced by using different strategies. A similar approach is described to treat metallic surfaces of steel X6Cr17 and a titanium alloy Ti6Al4V. The geometry of the produced microstructures was characterized using scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Measurement of water contact angle is performed for both polymer and metallic surfaces..