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Production of hybrid macro/micro/nano surface structures on Ti6Al4V surfaces by picosecond laser surface texturing and their antifouling characteristics

Rajab, F and Liauw, C and Benson, P and Li, L and Whitehead, KA (2017) Production of hybrid macro/micro/nano surface structures on Ti6Al4V surfaces by picosecond laser surface texturing and their antifouling characteristics. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 160. pp. 688-696. ISSN 0927-7765

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Abstract

The development of surfaces which reduce biofouling has attracted much interest in practical applications. Three picosecond laser generated surface topographies (Ti1, Ti2, Ti3) on titanium were produced, treated with fluoroalkylsilane (FAS), then characterised using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDX), Raman Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy, contact angle measurements and white light interference microscopy. The surfaces had a range of different macro/micro/nano topographies. Ti2 had a unique, surface topography with large blunt conical peaks and was predominantly a rutile surface with closely packed, self-assembled FAS; this was the most hydrophobic sample (water contact angle 160°; ΔGiwi was −135.29 mJ m−2). Bacterial attachment, adhesion and retention to the surfaces demonstrated that all the laser generated surfaces retained less bacteria than the control surface. This also occurred following the adhesion and retention assays when the bacteria were either not rinsed from the surfaces or were retained in static conditions for one hour. This work demonstrated that picosecond laser generated surfaces may be used to produce antiadhesive surfaces that significantly reduced surface fouling. It was determined that a tri-modally dimensioned surface roughness, with a blunt conical macro-topography, combined with a close-packed fluoroalkyl monolayer was required for an optimised superhydrophobic surface. These surfaces were effective even following surface immersion and static conditions for one hour, and thus may have applications in a number of food or medical industries.

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