Bioinspired self-repairing slippery surfaces with pressure-stable omniphobicity
Most of current state-of-the-art superhydrophobic surfaces are based on the lotus leaf effect, where they owe their superhydrophobic nature to the composite air-solid-liquid interface (Cassie-Baxter model) which reduces solid-liquid contact area resulting in liquid repellency. This approach works well for liquid such as water, but not for liquid with small surface tensions such as most hydrocarbons. Wong et al has designed a new kind of liquid-repelling surface based on a completely different physical principle, inspired by the pitcher plant Nepenthes. The surface consists of a sponge-like material which is filled with a lubricating film that is smooth to the atomic level. Any liquid that is immiscible with the lubricating liquid can then easily be rolled off. Moreover, the surface, dubbed Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) can withstand high pressures and exhibit impressive self-repairing capabilities.
1. T.S. Wong, S.H. Kang, S.K.Y. Tang, E.J. Smythe, B.D. Hatton, A. Grinthal & J. Aizenberg, "Bioinspired self-repairing slippery surfaces with pressure-stable omniphobicity", Nature 2011