Anti-Fouling Slippery Surface: An Approach to Design Advanced Materials
Fabrication of robust synthetic materials with antifouling properties would have broad technological implications for areas ranging from biomedical devices to fuel transport to architecture but has proven to be extremely challenging. Natural inspired non-wetting structures, particularly, Slippery Lubricant-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) that outperform state-of-the-art synthetic surfaces in their ability to resist ice and microbial adhesion and repel various simple and complex liquids. By coordinating surface nanostructuring, chemical functionalization and lubricant properties, one can design stable, shear-tolerant liquid-repellent coatings and manufacture them on arbitrary materials and complex shapes. The slippery surfaces can find important applications in fluid handling and transportation, small molecule sensing, and as antifouling surfaces against highly contaminating media operating in extreme environments. I will talk about how to design a polymer based universal SLIPS coating on various substrate that are with arbitrary shape and size. I will also give brief overview of some fundamental aspects which controls the adhesive behavior of this property that can be useful in microfluidics application. Aspects of controlled & guided transfer of small aqueous droplet based on SLIPS by applying rotational motion will be discussed and I will also talk about selective transfer and transport of liquid using hydrophilic-SLIPS patterned surface. It’s always hard to visualize directly with bare eyes a phenomena that is happening in nano scale, - but slippery surface (with proper designing) that is loaded with anisotropic lubricant allows events that occur at the nanoscale level to be observed at the spatial scale of the naked eye without the need for additional instrumentation. Finally, I will present its strong resistance towards fungal and bacterial attachment, thus eventually help to prevent biomass/biofilm formation.