Toward improved non-stick surfaces at the flip of a switch

December 24, 2007

Researchers in New Jersey report development of a new type of non-stick material whose ability to shed liquids like water from a duck’s back can be turned on or off simply by flipping an electrical switch.

The material, called “nanonails,” offers a wide-range of potential applications including contamination-resistant and self-cleaning surfaces, reduced-drag ships, and advanced electrical batteries, they say. Their study is scheduled for the Jan. 1 issue of ACS’ Langmuir.

For years, researchers sought to develop surfaces that repel virtually any liquid. They’ve created non-stick surfaces that repel water and certain other liquids, but have had little success with repelling common organic liquids such as oils, solvents and detergents.

Tom N. Krupenkin and colleagues report that their “nanonails” have all-purpose repellency properties. The nails actually are submicroscopic silicon structures shaped like carpenter’s nails that dramatically enhance a surface’s repellency. However, the surface becomes highly wettable when electricity is applied, allowing liquid to be sucked between the nails.

In laboratory demonstrations, the researchers showed that their electronic non-stick surface works effectively using virtually any liquid.

“Nanonails” also show promise for enhancing chemical microreactions, decreasing flow resistance, and facilitating liquid movement for medical diagnostic applications such as lab-on-a-chip technology, they say.

Source: ACS

Explore further: Engineers create 'superomniphobic' texture capable of repelling all liquids

Related Stories

New surface treatment stops scale buildup

January 22, 2014

Scale, as these deposits are known, causes inefficiencies, downtime, and maintenance issues. In the oil and gas industry, scale has sometimes led to the complete shutdown, at least temporarily, of operating wells. So addressing ...

Recommended for you

Electrical circuit made of gel can repair itself

August 25, 2015

(Phys.org)—Scientists have fabricated a flexible electrical circuit that, when cut into two pieces, can repair itself and fully restore its original conductivity. The circuit is made of a new gel that possesses a combination ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.