SLIPS: A Liquid repellent, Anti-dust Miracle Surface

SLIPS: A Liquid repellent, Anti-dust Miracle Surface

By Gaia Smith

HARVARD UNIVERSITY, USA. A technology that makes wiping surfaces to keep them clean a thing of the past.

SLIPS stands for Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surface. The following properties can be found in SLIPS technology:

  • Liquid repellency
  • Self-healing and anti-coagulant
  • Optical Transparency
  • Pressure stability
  • Ant-fogging and anti-icing
  • Self-cleaning with a low density cleaning liquid (like ethanol)

These remarkable properties make it an ideal technology for use in buildings, aircraft and refrigerators; windshields and mirrors; lenses and medical devices; solar panels; and a whole lot more.

The concept was derived from a pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant, where its cupped leaf is actually a frictionless surface allowing its prey to slide down into its doom. The pitcher plant locks in a layer of water in its surface and serves as the repellent surface. In SLIPS, a slippery surface coating is made by infusing a nano-structured porous material with lubricating fluid, thus the name.

“Not only is our bio-inspired surface able to work in a variety of conditions, but it is also simple and cheap to manufacture,” says Sung Hoon Kang, a Ph.D. who co-authored the technological breakthrough. SLIPS is designed to outperform its counterparts in a broad range of its uses.

Invention A liquid-repellent surface technology
Organization Harvard University
Researchers Aizenberg, Joanna, Tak-Sing Wong, Sung Hoon Kang, Sindy Tang, Benjamin Hatton, Alison Grinthal, Elizabeth Smythe
Field(s) Mechanical Engineering, Medical Devices, Nanotechnology, SLIPS technology, Nanostructures
Further Information Harvard Gazette, Harvard Tech Transfer

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