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Flexible Self-Cleaning Broadband Antireflective Film Inspired by the Transparent Cicada Wings

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posted on 17.04.2019, 00:00 by Zhiwu Han, Ze Wang, Bo Li, Xiaoming Feng, Zhibin Jiao, Junqiu Zhang, Jie Zhao, Shichao Niu, Luquan Ren
Cicada wings, covered with arranged nanostructures, were widely studied owing to their high transparency and low reflection. However, limited by technologies, their exquisite surface structures and multifunctional features were not inherited and applied by most artificial materials adequately. Here, the excellent optical properties of the cicada wing were investigated in detail experimentally and theoretically. Besides, a flexible self-cleaning broadband antireflective film inspired by the cicada wing has been successfully fabricated by a well-designed biological template method and sol–gel process. The cicada wing (Megapomponia intermedia) was selected as the original template directly, and a SiO2 negative replica was obtained by a sol–gel process. Then, chemical corrosion was used to remove the original template, retaining the pure negative replica. Subsequently, the polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) positive replica could be rebuilt after another sol–gel process. Compared with a flat PMMA film, the average reflectivity of the structured PMMA film over the visible region was reduced from 10 to 2%. Besides, the bio-inspired film with a thickness of 0.18 mm exhibited satisfactory comprehensive performances with low reflectance (≤2%) in most of the visible region, as well as superhydrophobic property and perfect flexibility. Our results offered a quick and simple method to rebuild the nanostructured functional materials, promoting the practical applications of the bionic nanostructured materials. Meanwhile, the modified biomimetic fabrication method provides a solution for rebuilding exquisite biological materials and designing multifunctional surfaces. Moreover, the multifunctional antireflective film with wider universality will exhibit an enormous potential application value in optical communications, photoelectric devices, flexible display screens, and antidazzle glasses.