In this contribution, we discuss wrinkling as a process resulting in well‐defined periodic micron‐sized structures, as known from the interface of several plant cells. We show possible pathways to transfer this principle to artificial materials such as epoxy resins or polymers. While topographical structuring of surfaces by wrinkling is meanwhile well established for elastomers like poly (dimethyl siloxane), so far the step towards other classes of materials has not been taken. This puts several limitations to potential applications of artificial wrinkled structures, as elastomers show poor dimensional stability, low optical quality, and tend to swell in organic solvents. As well, artificial structures formed by wrinkling are not tension‐free on the microscopic level, which makes them metastable. Residual mechanical tensions can affect dimensional stability on long timescales. We introduce two processes, micro thermoforming and molding, as means to overcome these restrictions and to pattern non‐elastomeric materials by using wrinkled elastomers as templates. The two approaches allow the formation of negative and positive replicas and allow the transfer of sub‐micron features with high fidelity.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.