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Polymers 2018, 10(2), 218; doi:10.3390/polym10020218

Nanosphere Lithography of Chitin and Chitosan with Colloidal and Self-Masking Patterning

Department of Nanoscience, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27401, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 15 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Chitin/Chitosan Characterization and Applications)
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Complex surface topographies control, define, and determine the properties of insect cuticles. In some cases, these nanostructured materials are a direct extension of chitin-based cuticles. The cellular mechanisms that generate these elaborate chitin-based structures are unknown, and involve complicated cellular and biochemical “bottom-up” processes. We demonstrated that a synthetic “top-down” fabrication technique—nanosphere lithography—generates surfaces of chitin or chitosan that mimic the arrangement of nanostructures found on the surface of certain insect wings and eyes. Chitin and chitosan are flexible and biocompatible abundant natural polymers, and are a sustainable resource. The fabrication of nanostructured chitin and chitosan materials enables the development of new biopolymer materials. Finally, we demonstrated that another property of chitin and chitosan—the ability to self-assemble nanosilver particles—enables a novel and powerful new tool for the nanosphere lithographic method: the ability to generate a self-masking thin film. The scalability of the nanosphere lithographic technique is a major limitation; however, the silver nanoparticle self-masking enables a one-step thin-film cast or masking process, which can be used to generate nanostructured surfaces over a wide range of surfaces and areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitin; chitosan; nanostructured biomaterial; polymer; self-masking nanosphere lithography; cicada chitin; chitosan; nanostructured biomaterial; polymer; self-masking nanosphere lithography; cicada

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chandran, R.; Nowlin, K.; LaJeunesse, D.R. Nanosphere Lithography of Chitin and Chitosan with Colloidal and Self-Masking Patterning
. Polymers 2018, 10, 218.

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