Colloidal surface assemblies: Nanotechnology meets bioinspiration

This Feature Article discusses two biomimetic aspects of functional particle surface assembly: the fabrication of biologically inspired structures from particles and the arrangement of particles on biomimetic templates. The first part discusses the creation of primary patterns by convective assembly and adsorption of particles that can be modified by a combination of etching and growth steps. Resulting structures mimic moth eyes, Lotus leaves, and the Gecko's adhesive structures, for example. The second part focusses on template assisted self-assembly (TASA) of particles. Herein, biological examples are inspiring in terms of structure formation related processes, rather than in terms of functionality. Template formation is a major bottleneck TASA. It is illustrated how bio-inspired wrinkling processes help overcoming this problem and can be employed for forming highly ordered functional nanoparticle assemblies.