A metallic anti-biofouling surface with a hierarchical topography containing nanostructures on curved micro-riblets

Taekyung Kim, Sunmok Kwon, Jeehyeon Lee, Joon Sang Lee, Shinill Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Metallic surface finishes have been used in the anti-biofouling, but it is very difficult to produce surfaces with hierarchically ordered structures. In the present study, anti-biofouling metallic surfaces with nanostructures superimposed on curved micro-riblets were produced via top-down fabrication. According to the attachment theory, these surfaces feature few attachment points for organisms, the nanostructures prevent the attachment of bacteria and algal zoospores, while the micro-riblets prohibit the settlement of macrofoulers. Anodic oxidation was performed to induce superhydrophilicity. It forms a hydration layer on the surface, which physically blocks foulant adsorption along with the anti-biofouling topography. We characterized the surfaces via scanning electron and atomic force microscopy, contact-angle measurement, and wear-resistance testing. The contact angle of the hierarchical structures was less than 1°. Laboratory settlement assays verified that bacterial attachment was dramatically reduced by the nanostructures and/or the hydration layer, attributable to superhydrophilicity. The micro-riblets prohibited the settlement of macrofoulers. Over 77 days of static immersion in the sea during summer, the metallic surface showed significantly less biofouling compared to a surface painted with an anticorrosive coating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalMicrosystems and Nanoengineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (No. 2015R1A5A1037668).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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