Resilient, ultra-slippery glass could lead to self-cleaning, scratch-resistant windows, lenses, and solar panels
The new coating could be used to create durable, scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses, self-cleaning windows, improved solar panels and new medical diagnostic devices, said principal investigator Joanna Aizenberg, who is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
The new coating builds on an award-winning technology that Aizenberg and her team pioneered called Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS)—the slipperiest synthetic surface known. The new coating is equally slippery, but much more durable and fully transparent. Together these advances solve longstanding challenges in creating commercially useful materials that repel almost everything.
SLIPS was inspired by the slick strategy of the carnivorous pitcher plant, which lures insects onto the ultraslippery surface of its leaves, where they slide to their doom. Unlike earlier water-repelling materials, SLIPS repels oil and sticky liquids like honey, and it resists ice formation and bacterial biofilms as well.
While SLIPS was an important advance, it was also “a proof of principle”—the first step toward a commercially valuable technology, said lead author Nicolas Vogel, a postdoctoral fellow in applied physics at SEAS.
“SLIPS repels both oily and aqueous liquids but it’s expensive to make and not transparent,” Vogel said.
The original SLIPS materials also need to be fastened somehow to existing surfaces, which is often not easy.
“It would be easier to take the existing surface and treat it in a certain way to make it slippery,” Vogel explained.
Vogel, Aizenberg, and their colleagues sought to develop a coating that accomplishes this and works as SLIPS does. SLIPS’ thin layer of liquid lubricant allows liquids to flow easily over the surface, much as a thin layer of water in an ice rink helps an ice skater glide. (See video.)
To create a SLIPS-like coating, the researchers corral a collection of tiny spherical particles of polystyrene, the main ingredient of Styrofoam, on a flat glass surface like a collection of Ping-Pong balls. They pour liquid glass on them until the balls are more than half buried in glass. After the glass solidifies, they burn away the beads, leaving a network of craters that resembles a honeycomb. They then coat that honeycomb with the same liquid lubricant used in SLIPS to create a tough but slippery coating.
“The honeycomb structure is what confers the mechanical stability to the new coating,” said Aizenberg.
By adjusting the width of the honeycomb cells to make them much smaller in diameter than the wavelength of visible light, the researchers kept the coating from reflecting light. This made a glass slide with the coating completely transparent.
These coated glass slides repelled a variety of liquids, just as SLIPS does, including water, octane, wine, olive oil and ketchup. And, like SLIPS, the coating reduced the adhesion of ice to a glass slide by 99 percent. Keeping materials frost-free is important, since adhered ice can take down power lines, decrease the energy efficiency of cooling systems, delay airplanes and lead buildings to collapse.
Importantly, the honeycomb structure of the SLIPS coating on the glass slides confers unmatched mechanical robustness. It withstood damage and remained slippery after various treatments that can scratch and compromise ordinary glass surfaces and other popular liquid-repellent materials, including touching, peeling off a piece of tape, and wiping with a tissue.
The Latest Bing News on:
- 35 great American concept carson June 15, 2021 at 4:45 am
The goldfish bowl problem presented by all that glass would be resolved by the then highly important emerging technology of air conditioning that it featured. Standard equipment also included a ...
- Super-Slippery Coating Inspired by Carnivorous Planton May 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm
SLIPS was originally inspired by the carnivorous pitcher plant, coated with an ultra-slippery surface that slides insect victims ... completely transparent coating that can turn regular glass into a ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- How to Choose the Right Type of Swimming Pool for Your Yardon June 16, 2021 at 12:08 pm
Enclosed by glass, the light can pour through without ... and saltwater pools have become more and more popular, as their self-cleaning systems mean you get to go chemical-free.
- Flat Glass Coatings Gaining Popularity in Architectural Sector for its Superior Impact Resistance and Thermal Stability: Fact .MRon June 15, 2021 at 6:04 am
Corrosion resistance, UV protection, and self-cleaning qualities are all features of glass coatings. Market research and consulting agency with a difference! That's why 80% of Fortune 1,000 ...
- Flat Glass Coatings Gaining Popularity in Architectural Sector for its Superior Impact Resistance and Thermal Stability: Fact .MRon June 15, 2021 at 6:00 am
As per a study by Fact MR, the flat glass coatings market exhibited stellar growth in 2020 surpassing the market valuation of US$ 1 Bn.
- Global Self-cleaning Surfaces Glass Market Insights, Forecast to 2027on June 14, 2021 at 8:30 pm
Self-cleaning Surfaces Glass market companies. Research organizations and consulting companies. Organizations, associations and alliances related to the Self-cleaning Surfaces Glass market industry.
- Best electric ranges in 2021on June 10, 2021 at 7:40 am
It has heavy-duty construction, a glass panel and metal control knobs ... the oven comes with three racks and is self-cleaning. People who love to cook and are lucky enough to have access to ...
- Foster + Partners and the future of Architecture as Arton June 8, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Art, over the past couple of millennia, has been the primary medium through which humans have expressed themselves and their context. With the passing of time, styles have changed: from cave ...
- Self-cleaning glasson June 3, 2021 at 4:59 pm
Pilkington, PPG, Asahi Glass Co. and Saint Gobain (glass companies all) have designed a titanium dioxide coating for glass which, when exposed to UV light, breaks down oil on the surface ...
- Automotive Glass Market Report 2021-2026 | Industry Top Competitors, Size, Share, Volume, Growth Rate and Forecaston June 1, 2021 at 8:56 pm
According to the latest report by IMARC Group titled, "Automotive Glass Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026", The global automotive glass market ...
- Self-cleaning Glass Market Status and Trend Analysis 2017-2027 (COVID-19 Version)on May 29, 2021 at 9:59 am
Self-cleaning Glass market companies. Research organizations and consulting companies. Organizations, associations and alliances related to the Self-cleaning Glass market industry. Government ...