SKM 2021 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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CPP: Fachverband Chemische Physik und Polymerphysik

CPP 7: Soft Matter (joint session CPP/DY)

CPP 7.4: Hauptvortrag

Mittwoch, 29. September 2021, 11:15–11:45, H3

The quest for robust superhydrophobic surfaces — •Robin Ras — Department of Applied Physics, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland

Nature offers various examples of extreme water-repellency, such as the leaves of Lotus plant and wings of cicada. The water repellency allows plants for efficient photosynthesis even in dusty environments, and allows large-wing insects to fly even in humid conditions. Likewise, our technological society could benefit from surfaces that stay clean and dry in challenging conditions. For example, solar cells on roof tops loose efficiency when they are covered with sand and dust.

The extreme water-repellency, also called superhydrophobicity, is attributed to the combination of micro/nanoscale topography and hydrophobic surface chemistry that allows trapping of a thin air film between the water and the solid substrate. The air film effectively shields the water from the solid by reducing the contact area, leading to very high contact angle and very low adhesion and friction. The required topography, however, also makes these surfaces very fragile.

Here I will present the progress made during previous decade, including different strategies for enhancing the mechanical durability. Recently, in collaboration with the group of Xu Deng, we developed an extremely durable superhydrophobic surface, by making use of a microstructured armor that protects the otherwise fragile nanostructures. I will present the concept, and steps that we are taking towards commercialization.

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