Mechanical engineering students publish in ACS Macro Letters

Ph.D. student Xiayun Huang and master's student James Chrisman in the Department of Mechanical Engineering have published a communication in the journal ACS Macro Letters about a novel type of omniphobic coating with low sliding angles and contact angle hysteresis.

Huang and Chrisman work work in the research group of Dr. Nicole Zacharia, assistant professor.

The coating described in the paper is based on replicating the structure of the pitcher plant, which has a naturally occurring slippery surface that is uses to catch its prey. This surface has a unique microtexture that is infused with a liquid, which gives the surface its slippery properties. This was replicated in the Zacharia group by using a polyelectrolyte based coating on a porous microstructure and then infusing the material with a commercially available lubricant.

These coatings can be useful for self-cleaning surfaces, anti-fouling surfaces, frost mitigation, and water condensation surfaces, and — unlike many commercially available textured substrates — can be easily applied to curved surfaces.

Read the article at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/mz400387w.