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:
- 39 Helpful Things You Can Get Some Real Use Out Ofon June 20, 2020 at 5:14 pm
We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on ...
- Getting sideways with Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Driving Experienceon March 6, 2020 at 1:03 am
We’ve always preferred a softer suspension setup with a more aggressive throttle map, but out on the glass-smooth track ... of the oval is coated in ultra-slippery material akin to black ...
- The greatest concept cars of 2017 so faron June 1, 2017 at 4:11 am
The ultra-slippery EV can lean into corners and offers ... These include the V-shaped grille along with the floating roof – a glass panel supported by blacked-out pillars. MG E-MOTION: We ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
- The Best Blenders Make So Much More Than Smoothieson June 26, 2020 at 5:23 pm
It’s also an appliance that tends to inspire a lot of creativity in the kitchen with the ability to make everything from smoothies to soups. The best blenders these days combine helpful, time-saving ...
- Rheologically controlled design of nature-inspired superhydrophobic and self-cleaning membranes for clean water productionon June 25, 2020 at 2:06 am
Conventional fabrication technologies of superhydrophobic and self-cleaning membranes for wastewater treatment often involve complex surface modifications, and massive usage of nanomaterials or ...
- The best Hamilton Beach coffee makeron June 23, 2020 at 1:44 pm
Our team of experts has selected the best Hamilton Beach coffee makers out of dozens of options. Don't buy a coffee maker before reading these reviews.
- A multibillion-dollar opportunity: Virus-proofing the new officeon June 23, 2020 at 5:30 am
Tech, catering and design companies are rushing to sell employers on fever scanners, box lunches and office floor-planning apps for social distancing but it’s too soon to tell if they will work.
- Global Self-Cleaning Glass Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts 2019-2025 - ResearchAndMarkets.comon June 21, 2020 at 5:01 pm
The "Self-Cleaning Glass - Market Analysis, Trends, and Forecasts" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The Self-Cleaning Glass market worldwide is projected to grow by US$34.9 ...
- Global Construction Glass Market 2020: Top Countries Data, Global Analysis, Market Size, Business Strategies, Geography Trends And Forecast 2025on June 18, 2020 at 12:56 am
Additionally, the advancements like the solar control glass, reducing glass and self-cleaning glass as well as insulated glazing glass have been increasing the demand for the products of ...
- Coated Glass Market to experience notable demand across construction applicationson June 16, 2020 at 5:31 am
Selbyville, Delaware It is estimated that global coated glass market size will exceed a valuation of US$24.5 billion by 2024, with growing installation of solar control and anti-reflective glass in ...
- Glass flood walls plan to be debated next weekon May 29, 2020 at 5:21 am
Architects working on the scheme say a self-cleaning glass is being proposed to reduce maintenance costs and because graffiti on glass panels has not been a problem at other similar projects.
- 6 Different Types of Advanced Glass Trending in Various Industrial Sectorson May 19, 2020 at 8:48 pm
Several types of advanced glasses that are currently ruling the market are smart glass, thin glass, security glass, nano channel glass, bioactive glass and self-cleaning glass. 1. Smart glass ...
- U.S Self-cleaning Surfaces Glass Market will take the highest jump during 2020-2025on May 15, 2020 at 1:19 pm
The Global Self-cleaning Surfaces Glass Market report provides a detailed analysis of the dynamic of the market with extensive focus on secondary research. The report sheds light on the current ...