Functionalization of plastic parts by replication of variable pitch laser-induced periodic surface structures

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

  • Leonardo Piccolo
  • Marco Sorgato
  • Afif Batal
  • Giovanni Lucchetta
  • Davide Masato

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of Padova

Abstract

Surface functionalization of plastic parts has been studied and developed for several applications. However, demand for the development of reliable and profitable manufacturing strategies is still high. Here we develop and characterize a new process chain for the versatile and cost-effective production of sub-micron textured plastic parts using laser ablation. The study includes the generation of different sub-micron structures on the surface of a mold using femtosecond laser ablation and vario-thermal micro-injection molding. The manufactured parts and their surfaces are characterized in consideration of polymer replication and wetting behavior. The results of the static contact angle measurements show that replicated Laser-Induced Periodic Surface Structures (LIPSSs) always increase the hydrophobicity of plastic parts. A maximum contact angle increase of 20% was found by optimizing the manufacturing thermal boundary conditions. The wetting behavior is linked to the transition from a Wenzel to Cassie–Baxter state, and is crucial in optimizing the injection molding cycle time.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number429
JournalMicromachines
Volume11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • laser-induced periodical surface structures, surface wettability, replication, micro-injection molding