In principle, any surface with sufficient micro/nanoscale roughness and chemical compatibility to hold an infusing liquid can be turned into a SLIPS surface. This flexibility makes it possible to custom design SLIPS for a wide range of applications that require optimizing performance for often extreme or changing conditions.
As part of our ongoing study of the physicochemical parameters that influence slippery performance, lubricant longevity, mechanical durability, temperature tolerance, transparency, and compatibility with structures ranging from airplane wings to medical tubing, we have developed a variety of fabrication methods and rational design strategies. These form a growing foundation for integrating fluidic surfaces into multifunctional materials that both optimize omnirepellent performance and enable it to be combined with properties such as shape-memory behavior, elastic and optical tunability, liquid patterning and confinement, and self-replenishment. These strategies have been applied to glass, metals, and fabrics, as well as catheters and refrigeration units, and are currently being developed for a wide variety of energy, environmental, safety, and medical applications.
Super-slick material makes steel better, stronger, cleaner, Harvard press release, October 20, 2015.
Scientists Modify Cotton and Polyester to Display Repellent Properties, The Crimson, February 26, 2014.
Stain-free, self-cleaning clothing on the horizon, Harvard press release, January 13, 2014.
New coating turns ordinary glass into super-slippery glass, Harvard press release, August 2, 2013.
Materials inspired by nature, Physics World, June 11, 2014.