Self-Organization of Bioinspired Fibrous Surfaces

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Self-Organization of Bioinspired Fibrous Surfaces

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Title: Self-Organization of Bioinspired Fibrous Surfaces
Author: Kang, Sung Hoon
Citation: Kang, Sung Hoon. 2012. Self-Organization of Bioinspired Fibrous Surfaces. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Nature uses fibrous surfaces for a wide range of functions such as sensing, adhesion, structural color, and self-cleaning. However, little is known about how fiber properties enable them to self-organize into diverse and complex functional forms. Using polymeric micro/nanofiber arrays with tunable properties as model systems, we demonstrate how the combination of mechanical and surface properties can be harnessed to transform an array of anchored nanofibers into a variety of complex, hierarchically organized dynamic functional surfaces. We show that the delicate balance between fiber elasticity and surface adhesion plays a critical role in determining the shape, chirality, and hierarchy of the assembled structures. We further report a strategy for controlling the long-range order of fiber assemblies by manipulating the shape and movement of the liquid-vapor interface. Our study provides fundamental understanding of the pattern formation by self-organization of bioinspired fibrous surfaces. Moreover, our new strategies offer a foundation for designing a vast assortment of functional surfaces with adhesive, optical, water-repellent, capture and release, and many more capabilities with the structural and dynamic sophistication of their biological counterparts.
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