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Surface Characterisation and Modelling for Self-Cleaning Function (SCM4SCF)
Start date: Dec 1, 2013, End date: Nov 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Human beings have long tried to learn from and mimic nature. A good example is the successful mimicry, by means of nanotechnology, of the ‘lotus leaf effect’ in many applications requiring self-cleaning from skyscrapers, machine tools’ work surfaces and even to clothes. Surface micro and nano-topography (finish, texture) obviously affects the performance of many engineered and natural systems. The proposed research is aimed at establishing functionally useful correlations between surface micro-geometry and mechanical and tribological properties. It specifically focuses to elucidate the effect of surface features on the local adhesion, friction, hardness and elastic modulus in terms of anti-adhesion and anti-contamination performances.The proposal will bring the joined expertise in both surface measurement and characterisation by Warwick Group and surface modelling by Dr Tian to achieve above ultimate objectives. We will first study the functional surfaces exhibited by engineered and natural systems for their anti-adhesion and anti-contamination performances. Numerical simulation and modelling will be carried out to generate such surfaces with controlled surface parameters, in order to study the effect of surface topography on the contact angle, adhesion and friction and nano-hardness, and the relationships between. Eventually, this will pave a way for scientists and engineers to design an ideal surface structure or topography for a specific function at a low cost.The research will provide benefits for the sponsor by publishing peer reviewed papers and establishing key enabling methodologies for characterisation and generation of such functional surfaces. The capability of the micro/nano surface measurement and metrology is of high benefit to both UK and European engineers and scientists.
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