Insects exhibit a fascinating and diverse range of micro and nano architectures on their cuticle. Beyond the spectacular beauty of such minute structures lie surfaces evolutionarily modified to act as multifunctional interfaces that must contend with a hostile, challenging environment. Although numerous cuticular structures have been discovered this century, of equal importance are the properties, functions, and potential applications that have been a key focus. The vast range of insect structuring, from the most simplistic topographies to the most elegant and geometrically complex forms, affords us with an exhaustive library of natural templates and ‘free’ technologies to borrow, replicate, and employ for a range of applications. Of particular importance are structures that imbue cuticle with antiwetting properties, self-cleaning abilities, antireflection, enhanced color, adhesion, and antimicrobial properties.
Annual Review of Entomology / Vol. 62, No. 1, pp.185-205