Project ID: 654360
Funded underH2020-EU. – Integrating and opening existing national and regional research infrastructures of European interest

Nanoscience Foundries and Fine Analysis for Europe, is a European initiative, part of the Horizon 2020 programme. NFFA-Europe is an integrated, distributed research infrastructure for multidisciplinary research at the nanoscale extending from synthesis to nanocharacterization to theory and numerical simulation, enhancing European industry competitiveness in nanoscience innovation. This hub is the first of its kind, giving industries a coordinated open-access to knowledge- and capital-intensive facilities and instruments. More precisely, the own research activity of NFFA•EUROPE addresses key bottlenecks of nanoscience research: nanostructure traceability, protocol reproducibility, in-operando nano-manipulation and analysis, open data. Advanced infrastructures specialized on growth, nano-lithography, nano-characterization, theory and simulation and fine-analysis with Synchrotron, FEL and Neutron radiation sources are integrated in a multi-site combination to develop frontier research on methods for reproducible nanoscience research and to enable European and international researchers from diverse disciplines to carry out advanced proposals impacting science and innovation. Within NFFA, 20 European facilities provide integrated access at no charge for publishable research and paid-for access for proprietary R&D.

AXIA Innovation was Granted open-access to the research infrastructure facilities of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) at the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH). The  grand application was submitted and accepted in 2017 enabling  the project implementation of “Biomimetic hierarchical micro/nano structured dual-functional composite coatings with enhanced self-cleaning and anti-bacterial capabilities” financed under the framework of H2020 NFFA-Europe. AXIA Innovation in its capacity in Technology Transfer is actively supporting its clients to develop technologies and access new markets.

Proposal Summary: Nature offers a diverse wealth of functional surfaces, whose properties are unmatched in today’s artificial materials. This is a consequence of the fact that biological surfaces provide multifunctional interfaces to their environment. Such multi-functionality is often derived via well-ordered, multiscale structures with dimensions of features ranging from the macroscale to the nanoscale. Indeed, the common feature of the largely unrelated natural surface designs is the use of high-aspect-ratio micro- and nanostructures and the desired functionality is achieved through a tailored synergy of hierarchical surface morphology and chemistry, Pulse electrodeposition has been proven to be an easy and low cost method for producing nano-structured materials and especially, coatings. Nanostructured coatings offer a great potential for various applications due to their superior characteristics that are not typically found in conventional ones. This is even more evident when such surfaces are combined with other nanostructured materials in order to produce multifunctional composite surfaces. Recently, visible light active photocatalytic TiO2 NPs have been successfully co-deposited with nickel (Ni-P) and copper (Cu-Ni) alloy matrices. However, although the produced Ni-P/TiO2 and Cu-Ni/TiO2 surfaces has shown significant anti-bacterial activity, their performance concerning the selfcleaning properties was relevant poor. Thus, enhancement of this property is desirable, especially for applications in daily life. In this context, this proposal aims to explore the antibacterial and self-cleaning performance of dual rough biomimetic structured surfaces fabricated by pulsed laser micro- and nano- patterning of co-deposited electrochemical coatings. The results obtained will provide a better understanding of the photo-induced self- cleaning ability and could potentially lead to dual-functional anti-bacterial and self-cleaning coatings with enhanced performance.