Surface functionalization by laser texturing makes it possible to give new functions and properties to a material by creating nano or micro-scale features on the material surface, as for instance laser induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) or "spike" type structures.
The structures functionalizing the surface are chosen according to the nature of the treated material and the function that one wishes to give to the material. Thus the LIPPS generated by the interaction of an ultrashort pulse beam and the material are used on metallic materials or crystals to modify their wettability or to modify their optical properties. By increasing the energy deposition, the amplitude of these structures increases to reach spike-type structures that are able to reproduce the lotus effect, making the surface super-hydrophobic. These structures under certain conditions act as a light trap to render the surface black or to modify its emissivity in the infrared. Finally, the etching of geometric structures controlled with lasers having pulse duration up to the nanosecond allows, for any type of material, to improve the tribological properties of the surfaces or to modify their wettability.
Since 2012, ALPhANOV has acquired expertise on this theme, as recognized by being a finalist for the 2015 Prism-Awards at SPIE Photonics West in San Francisco in the Laser-engineered surfaces category and by participating in numerous European projects on the subject.
Applications are very diverse: