Prof. Christoph Neinhuis
TU Dresden


Plant derived micro- and nanostructures for improved technical surfaces


The properties of plant surfaces, especially regarding attachment of insects, wetting with water, or the application of chemicals have been a research topic for decades in the last century. However, the publication about the connection between wetting properties and the removal of contaminating particles 1997, that became popular under name “Lotus-Effect” initiated a new interest in surface properties resulting in a boost of investigations dealing with self-cleaning properties and related phenomena. Despite the vast amount of research the number of commercially successful applications is still limited. Within the talk, a short overview is given about the basis for water-repellency in plants and animals, the problems connected to the transfer from a biological into a technical system and finally results will be presented of recent research activities.


Prof. Dr. Christoph Neinhuis was trained as a gardener before he studied biology at the University of Bonn where he also received his PhD and habilitation. After a short appointment in Cologne he took the position as professor for botany at the Technische Universität Dresden in 2002 where he also is director of the Botanic Garden. His research interest ranges from biodiversity of plants, nature conservation to functional morphology and anatomy as well as biomimetic materials.