News Picks : Bioinspired superslippery material has numerous potential applications
MIT Technology Review: Inspired by the Nepenthes pitcher plant, whose insect-trapping mouth is surrounded by a slippery lip created by a thin film of water, a team of researchers led by Joanna Aizenberg of Harvard University has developed a lubricating film that repels liquids and solids from almost any surface. Called SLIPS, for slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces, the novel material is composed of a textured solid infused with a chemically inert liquid that forms a superthin, supersmooth film to which nothing can stick, including water, blood, oil, ice, dust, and bacteria. Among SLIPS’s numerous properties are that it works under extreme conditions, it is self-healing and self-cleaning, and it can be made from low-cost materials. The research team is now working to commercialize the material for use in such applications as self-defrosting freezers and as an anti-icing material for planes and wind turbines.