Angewandte Chemie International Edition , 58 19 , Angewandte Chemie , 19 , Advanced Materials , 31 19 , Advanced Optical Materials , 7 7 , The improved photovoltaic response of commercial monocrystalline Si solar cell under natural and artificial light by using water flow lens WFL system. Ellen P. Kragt, Nadia Grossiord, Albertus P.
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https://maganabahsre.ml Amrita Kumar, Richard M. Osgood, Sean R. Dinneen, Brian D. Koker, Richard Pang, Leila F. This invention is branded Velcro. The discovery of the mechanism that underpins the function of Velcro is attributed to a Swiss engineer, George de Mestral in Closer inspection revealed the seeds had a great many small hooks on the end of their protective spikes.
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These had bound the seeds tightly to the loops formed by the animal's hair. This simple observation led him to recognize the opportunity of binding two synthetic surfaces by fabricating an equivalent artificial system comprising hooks and loops that could be fixed to those surfaces. It required significant effort to determine and refine the compositional materials and manufacturing processes, but his invention was patented and its commercial production soon began Figure 2.
Since then, it has fulfilled a range of functions for various domestic, scientific, industrial and military consumers for an array of very different applications. Figure 2. The hook and loop structure which underpins the adhesive nature of Velcro surfaces is a commonly seen example of bio-inspired design. Much more recently, studies of biology and the natural world have uncovered the potential for many other bio-inspired products.
Among these is an adhesive tape invention, the function of which is underpinned by the principle by which geckos' feet adhere strongly to smooth surfaces. It has become known as Gecko Tape.
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This function is far superior to many conventional pressure-sensitive adhesives that comprise soft viscoelastic polymers which degrade, foul, self-adhere and attach accidentally to inappropriate surfaces. The source of gecko surface adhesion relies on the presence of microscopic branch-like fibers that cover the undersides of their feet Figure 3. These fibers, known as setae, comprise stiff spring-like hydrophobic keratin and are self-cleaning. This offers the capacity for rapid attachment and detachment and maintains performance for many months' of use, often in variable conditions.
Figure 3. The lizard G. Synthetic surfaces that have been designed to function in this way and which form the Gecko Tape in question are in early stages of development through the microfabrication of dense arrays of flexible plastic pillars, the geometry of which is optimized to ensure their collective adhesion. For certain niche applications, they will offer far more efficient and appropriate adhesion properties than conventional viscoelastic polymer-based adhesives.
Furthermore, they can be very highly tailored for the specificity of their intended purpose.
Though faunal systems provide strong potential for bio-inspiration in technology, industry and biomedical fields, floral systems have also been shown to be a valuable source. One notable example is the leaf of the lotus plant, from the genus Nelumbo nucifera Figure 4a. This leaf exhibits the property of super-hydrophobicity, referred to often as the Lotus Effect due to the plant leaves' very high water repellency. Synthetic mimics of the mechanism responsible for this effect have found application in biomedicine, large-area glazing and architectural coatings.
The principle of high water repellency from the lotus leaf surface arises from the presence of surface roughness at two different length scales; micro-scale protuberances and nano-scale hair-like structures. Subsequently, when water such as from a raindrop falls on the leaf, it forms a very high contact angle that causes it to create a spherical bead. This results in the collection and removal of dirt and bacteria from the leaf's surface as multiple droplets roll across its surface.
The lotus leaves' superhydrophobicity thereby leads to a natural process of self-cleaning. Figure 4a. Water rolls down the surface of this Lotus plant leaf Nelumbo nucifera due to its superhydrophobicity. As the water droplets roll across this surface, they accumulate particles of dirt and bacteria from the surface, thereby leaving the surface cleaner.
Figure 4b. When this effect is used as the basis for technological or biomedical applications, it serves alternate niche functions. Aerosol-based architectural spray coatings, developed and distributed by BASF Figure 4b , have been formulated to create an exterior wall that is water repellent and subsequently relatively self-cleaning. Equally, the external glass surfaces of some large area exterior displays have been textured appropriately to produce a self-cleaning function through analogous lotus leaf effects.
With products such as glass-fronted solar cell panels, appropriately designed microscale and nanoscale texture required to enhance a dirt-free surface may also have the effect, concurrently, of enhancing multi-angle optical transmission through the glass to improve solar-cell efficiency. The lotus leaf effect also inspired a biomedical application developed by the Instrument Technology Research Center of the National Applied Research Laboratories of Taiwan in the form of a liquid-drop centering function within an intra-chip diagnosis unit. The incorporation of a concentric series of progressively changing micro-textured regions provides the facility with which blood, plasma, medication or other fluid may be spatially positioned for examination or treatment in automatic analysis processes.
Another equally revolutionary bio-inspired product arose from the study of Arctic species of fish. They exist in sea-water at temperatures that are below zero Celsius. To prevent the water within their own systems from forming ice crystals, such animals have evolved specialized proteins in their own blood that are referred to as ice-structuring proteins ISPs.
Unilever scientists have harvested the analog of this polar fish ISP from specially processed yeast and are developing it for use in some of their commercially marketed ice cream products to improve its transportability and texture. The practice of designing and developing applications for optical functions through bio-inspiration has gained considerable momentum in the last decade.
This arose from the realization that biological systems have evolved distinctive advantageous methods to manipulate the propagation of light and color. The rapid growth of the field of technological photonics from the early s emphatically helped to establish an awareness and appreciation of the nature and extent of the photonics-based designs that are to be found among biological systems. The field of photonics is founded on the principles by which electromagnetic radiation may be manipulated strongly when it interacts with periodic variations in refractive index.
Simple systems, such as grooves on a compact disc or antireflection coatings on spectacle lenses, are unsophisticated examples of this. In these examples, spectral colors are observed due to the diffractive effect of compact discs' grooves, while colored reflection is observed from lenses due to interference in their multilayer coating.
This form of color generation is distinctly different from that produced by light absorption in pigments or dyes. The latter is produced by chromophores; these are pigments which selectively absorb some wavelengths while scattering others. Photonic systems, conversely, manipulate light directly by coherent scattering. Those bands that are inhibited from propagating are reflected, creating or contributing to the system's colored appearance.
Common examples of this are the blue feathers on a peacock, or the silver scales on some fish. In certain animal and plant species, photonic-based colored appearances, namely those associated with the presence of arrays of periodic micro- and nano-structure, are very highly evolved.
They offer the host animal or plant distinct selection advantages in aspects of intraspecific communication, crypsis from or for predation, light collection and in enhancing the working function of visual systems. The physical mechanisms underpinning highly efficient light collection in biological systems, many associated with those of animal eyes, also have been the subject of detailed study.
Many different and distinctive naturally evolved designs for manipulating light and color have been discovered in the course of these studies. Their common theme is frequently the degree to which they have been optimized for their various intended purposes. Since their discoveries, their designs have inspired and continue to inspire specific optical, photonic, biomedical, industrial and more general appearance-related applications.
Take, for instance, the bright iridescent color of Morpho butterflies Figure 5a. Several detailed investigations revealed that their intense hues and remarkable conspicuousness is the result of a discretized series of highly layered coherent scattering structures that cover the scales which imbricate their wings Figure 5b. The nature of the layered structure and the ridging into which it is distributed Figure 5c produces not only bright iridescence, but concurrently enhances the creature's angular visibility.
These surface scales' ridges act as efficient diffracting elements that serve to broaden their reflected light cone still further in angle. They render a much more diffuse appearance to the entire wing. Figure 5.