Surfaces functionalization with well-defined micro- and nanostructures is a key enabling technology of the 21st century. The biologically inspired structures, which are mostly adapted from nature, offer a tremendous innovation potential to improve the wettability properties for self-cleaning surfaces, to create antibacterial surfaces, to reduce fuel consumption in tribological applications, or provide advance in optical applications such as product protection. The efficient fabrication of these versatile surface structures is currently among the greatest technical challenges for customized surface functionalities. Direct laser interference patterning (DLIP) arose as a flexible tool near to industry that can be used to fabricate tailored surface topographies for a great variety of applications . The DLIP technology benefits not only from the progress in the field of commercially available high-power laser sources, but also from the improvement of innovative beam guidance approaches.
The versatility of the DLIP technology to fabricate well-defined surface topographies impacts a variety of applications in the fields of tribology, wettability, biocompatibility, contact modification, adhesion, absorption, decoration and product protection . This often requires the utilization of flexible machining concepts capable of allowing both, a high flexibility and high performance. This work presents industry-near and compact DLIP solutions and structuring strategies for the fabrication of surface structures ranging from single- to multi-scale topographies. The use of advanced scanner-based DLIP approaches enables the implementation of variable structural combinations at perspective processing rates of up to 300 cm²/min and above. Strategies for the characterization of the structure homogeneity are discussed. Since the structure lifetime strongly impacts the surface functionality, application examples in the field of tribology and product protection are presented which give rise to prolonged structure stability in relevant environments.