Biomimetics and bioinspiration have been proven to be fruitful approaches to designing novel liquid and dirt repellent coatings. For example, lotus-mimetic superhydrophobic surfaces have gained enormous amounts of interest during the past 10-20 years. Today, superhydrophobic coatings are making their commercial breakthrough and can be bought from hardware stores and sprayed on practically any surface. However, another class of bioinspired repellent surfaces is emerging at the moment. This new type of coating has the potential to overcome many of the problems associated with lotus-mimetic superhydrophobic surfaces, such as the poor durability and lack of omniphobicity.
Whereas the lotus-mimetic superhydrophobic surfaces are based on rough low-energy coatings, the new type of coating mimics the liquid-infused porous surface of pitcher plants. These new Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) repel almost any liquids and solids, including films of living matter. The goal of this Marie Curie project is to explore dynamics of liquid droplets on these novel surfaces introduced two years ago in 2011. Specifically, the project aims at forming a set of methods for controlling the flow of liquid droplets and understanding how the solid-liquid hybrid surface interacts with moving droplets, leading to energy dissipation. In addition, the Marie Curie project explores also how SLIPS can be used for advanced self-assembly of both macroscopic liquid droplets and nano/microscopic particles. Together the results from these research objectives will significantly improve our understanding of the dynamical aspects of SLIPS. In addition, the knowledge transfer from the world-leading biomimetic laboratory in Harvard will be beneficial for the biomimetics research in ERA.
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