Seminar: The engineering of functional biomimetic surfaces by femtosecond laser micromachining

September 27, 2023 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Myhal Centre, room MC331
5 King's College Rd.
Toronto ON

Headshot of Professor Anne KietzigProfessor Anne Kietzig
McGill University (Department of Chemical Engineering

Abstract: Functional surfaces in nature are often characterized by patterns of similar multi-length scale surface features of regular but random geometry. In science and engineering we prefer precise feature geometries that are accessible by mathematical formulations for kinetic and thermodynamic considerations. Femtosecond (fs) laser machining has emerged in the past decades as a versatile material processing technique which requires only one single process step to induce specific microfeatures that entail surface functionality. There is no limit to the material type that can be machined with lasers, however, the topological outcome is a direct response dictated by the respective material’s properties. Next to altering the surface topology of materials, laser irradiation also often causes changes in a surface’s chemistry, which upon understanding the underlying reaction mechanism can be exploited to tailor surface wetting and adhesion properties. This talk will provide an overview of our advances in exploiting laser-matter interactions to address various applications. Examples range from much discussed plant-leaf inspired non-wetting, to pitcher plant inspired directional and extreme wetting, shark skin-like drag reducing surfaces, easy flow surfaces and textured glass surfaces that change their opacity upon wetting like the “skeleton” flower, penguin-feather inspired ice-shedding and tailored adhesion of epoxy-metal bonds.


Speaker Bio: Anne Kietzig is a Professor at McGill University, Canada. She teaches and carries out research at the Department of Chemical Engineering and acts as Associate Dean for Student Affairs in the Faculty of Engineering. She started her undergraduate education of Chemical Engineering and Economy Studies at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, where she graduated in 2006. She pursued her doctoral studies focused on microscopic ice friction at the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. In 2010, she joined McGill as an Assistant Professor, where she leads a research program in Biomimetic Surface Engineering, which is built on two fundamental pillars: one being laser-material-interactions and the other being surface wetting. The fields of application are manifold and target tailoring optical properties, adhesion, drag, and friction on many materials.