The overall purpose of this research project is to develop and apply a novel laser-initiated liquid-assisted colloidal lithography (LILAC) method for controllable nanostructuring a wide range of surfaces. The method combines, for the first time, ultra-short laser pulses, medium-tuned optical near-field effects and colloidal lithography to achieve surface structuring of materials like Si, III-V semiconductor, biomedically relevant metals and polymer surfaces. The detailed mechanisms underpinning the pattern formation depend on the many experimental process variables: laser wavelength and intensity/fluence; choice of liquid; size, shape, nature and packing of colloid particles; choice of solid surface, etc. Accordingly, the 2-year project proposed here has three interconnected aims:
1. To investigate the mechanisms of the pattern formation by systematic variation of relevant experimental parameters. To this end, we will vary: the nature of the liquid used to produce radical species at the liquid-substrate interface, laser pulse duration and wavelengths, the colloidal lithographic masking strategy, substrate surface chemistry, etc.;
2. To exploit the LILAC method to generate surface patterns with unprecedented physical and chemical sophistication and complexity;
3. To undertake preliminary investigations of the utility of specific surface micro-structures for tissue engineering and sensor applications.
This project will help Dr. Magdalena Ulmeanu to embark upon an independent research career and to acquire new practical and theoretical skills necessary for her career development in ultra-short laser processing of surfaces.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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