Superhydrophobic surfaces hold enormous promise as future self-cleaning or anti-fouling coatings. Their widespread use was, however, limited by contamination with oils and dissolved substances and insufficient mechanical stability. Superamphiphobic surfaces prevent contamination. They not only repel water but also non-polar liquids, surfactant and protein solutions. We recently developed a concept to fabricate transparent, robust superamphiphobic coatings, that is potentially upscalable for industrial mass production. The almost contact-free interface will open up new opportunities in membrane technology, solvent-free production of microspheres, in microfluidics, and in preventing biofilm formation. With targeted experiments and simulation we relate the microscopic structure of superamphiphobic layers to their impalement pressure, roll-off angle, mechanical strength and hydrodynamic drag. Based on these insight, improved and adapted designs will be developed. This project will make it possible to determine the potential of superamphiphobic layers in novel approaches to microchemical processing including improved transport, synthesis and characterization.
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Funding SchemeERC-AG - ERC Advanced Grant