Design and Fabrication of Sustainable Superomniphobic Surfaces

Figure 1: (a) Scanning electron microscope (SEM) image showing the synthesized sustainable superomniphobic particles. (b) Droplets of n-hexadecane (red), propylene glycol (yellow), and water (blue) beading up on the sustainable superomniphobic surface. (c) A series of snapshots showing a droplet of n-hexadecane bouncing on the sustainable superomniphobic surface.
Opportunity

Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending: US 2019/0016902 A1

Inventors

Arun Kota
Wei Wang

At A Glance

Investigators at Colorado State University have developed a method to design and fabricate, for the first-time, sustainable superomniphobic surfaces using short chain fluorocarbon molecules.

For more detailed information, please contact our office.

Licensing Director

Mandana Ashouri
Mandana.Ashouri@colostate.edu
970-491-7100

Reference No.:  18-003

Background

Super-repellent surfaces are extremely repellant to liquids.  They can be broadly classified as superhydrophobic or superomniphobic. Superhydrophobic surfaces are extremely repellent only to water or aqueous liquids. Superomniphobic surfaces are extremely repellent to virtually any liquid—aqueous or organic, acid or base or solvent, and Newtonian or non-Newtonian. Virtually any liquid can bead up, bounce, easily slip past and roll off superomniphobic surfaces. Due to their unique and exceptional functionalities, superomniphobic surfaces have a wide range of practical applications including (but not limited to) corrosion prevention, fluid drag reduction, liquid waste reduction, chemical shielding, self-cleaning, anti-fouling, anti-bacteria, gravity-driven membrane separation, and enhanced condensation heat transfer coefficients.

Current fabrication of superomniphobic surfaces tend to utilize long chain fluorocarbon materials containing at least 8 perfluorinated carbons. This is because such long chain fluorocarbon materials possess extremely low surface energy (approx. 10 mN/m) and are consequently highly liquid-repellent. However, such long chain fluorocarbon materials are considered “emerging contaminants” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because of their potential decomposition into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is bioaccumulative and toxic to humans.  Accordingly, there is a need for more environmentally friendly liquid-repellent coatings that are equally effective as or better than existing technologies.

Benefits
  • Dramatically lower bioaccumulation
  • Sustainable
  • Extensive range of applications
Applications
  • Corrosion prevention
  • Fluid drag reduction
  • Liquid waste reduction
  • Chemical shielding
  • Self-cleaning
  • Anti-fouling
  • Anti-bacteria
  • Gravity-driven membrane separation
  • Enhanced condensation heat transfer coefficients

Last updated: April 2020

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