Since its foundation in 2012, polyscale has been working on the production of surfaces that can fulfill certain functional properties by means of their surface topography. With the help of structures in the size range of a few nanometers, up to structures in the range of several hundred micrometers, the physical properties of surfaces can be specifically influenced. In this way, optical, biological or fluidic properties, for example, can be modified to suit the specific application.
Riblet films inspired by shark skin, anti-reflective films inspired by moth eyes, or self-cleaning surfaces inspired by the surface of lotus flowers. Nature offers innumerable examples of the variation of surface properties with the help of adapted surface topographies. The production of structures inspired by nature is called biomimetics – the transfer and implementation of principles and concepts from nature in technical applications. Natural, functional surfaces often consist of complex, hierarchical structures, the production of which is not readily possible with known processes. Polyscale manufactures structures based on nature on polymer surfaces – taking into account the limits of innovative microstructuring processes.
In addition to biologically inspired structures, other basic physical principles can also be exploited with the help of the manufacturing technologies developed by polyscale: Surface enlargement through microstructures, multi-material composites or targeted perforation: Chemical, biological or physical interactions at interfaces are influenced by the surface. The use of adapted coatings, e.g. by materials with special hardness, surface tension or optical properties, creates an almost unlimited solution space for new product innovations.
Polyscale transfers nano- and microstructures to large surfaces using nano-imprint lithography. Structures that can be produced on small surfaces using nano- and micro-technology methods (e.g. lithography, micro-machining, laser processing) are manufactured in a cost-effective replication process as a continuously manufactured film. Thus, surface effects that can be generated by structures with dimensions of nanometers and micrometers become usable on large surfaces. The insitu polymerization of various materials enables the sustainable production of material composites – energy-efficient and solvent-free.
Polyscale offers several processes to transfer micro- and nanostructures to a tool for mass production. In this context, polyscale offers all the necessary process steps for the manufacture of cost-efficient replication tools – from the production of suitable roll bodies and structuring to the coating of tools. The most important process for manufacturing the replication tools is ultra-precision machining. In addition, we transfer almost any surface structure via galvanic processes onto rollers for replication in the nanoimprint process.
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