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New ‘Superomniphobic’ Texture is Capable of Repelling All Liquids
UCLA engineers have created the first surface texture that can repel all liquids, no matter what material the surface is made of. Because its design relies only on the physical attributes of the texture, the texture could have industrial or biomedical applications. For example, the surface could slow corrosion and extend the life of parts in chemical and power plants, solar cells, or cookware. The engineers formed a surface covered with thousands of microscale flathead nails, each about 20 micrometers in head diameter, resembling the appearance of existing superoleophobic - highly oil repelling - textures. The key to the team"s innovative design is additional nanoscale details around the nail heads. Underneath the flat head, a nanoscale thin and short "??curtain"?%9D surrounds the top and droops down vertically. This overhang creates a reverse meniscus when the liquid is on the surface and suspended between the nails. These special nails are spaced about 100 micrometers apart. On this engineered surface, even completely wetting liquids roll around like a ball and slide right off when the surface tilted. This video shows a comparison of liquid repellency on a smooth Teflon® surface and a superomniphobic silica surface. Three liquids of water, methanol, and FC-72, are used to illustrate the wetting properties of the structured silicon dioxide vs. smooth Teflon®. Teflon® repels water (hydrophobic) but is wetted moderately by methanol (oleophili), and completely by FC-72.
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