Fish-scale bio-inspired multifunctional ZnO nanostructures

Sun, Ziqi, Liao, Ting, Li, Wenxian, Dou, Yuhai, Liu, Kesong, Jiang, Lei, Kim, Sang-Woo, Kim, Jung Ho, & Xue Dou, Shi (2015) Fish-scale bio-inspired multifunctional ZnO nanostructures. NPG Asia Materials, 7, Article Number-e232.

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Scales provide optical disguise, low water drag and mechanical protection to fish, enabling them to survive catastrophic environmental disasters, predators and microorganisms. The unique structures and stacking sequences of fish scales inspired the fabrication of artificial nanostructures with salient optical, interfacial and mechanical properties. Herein, we describe fish-scale bio-inspired multifunctional ZnO nanostructures that have similar morphology and structure to the cycloid scales of the Asian Arowana. These nanostructured coatings feature tunable light refraction and reflection, modulated surface wettability and damage-tolerant mechanical properties. The salient properties of these multifunctional nanostructures are promising for applications in:

  • (i) optical coatings, sensing or lens arrays for use in reflective displays, packing, advertising and solar energy harvesting;

  • (ii) self-cleaning surfaces, including anti-smudge, anti-fouling and anti-fogging, and self-sterilizing surfaces, and;

  • (iii) mechanical/chemical barrier coatings.

This study provides a low-cost and large-scale production method for the facile fabrication of these bio-inspired nanostructures and provides new insights for the development of novel functional materials for use in 'smart' structures and applications.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
7 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 94588
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1038/am.2015.133
ISSN: 1884-4057
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2015 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article ’ s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Deposited On: 08 Apr 2016 03:44
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2017 22:52

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