PICC at Innovation Symposium of Swiss Plastics Expo (Lucerne)
What is common among moth’s eye, gecko’s leg, lotus leaf, water strider’s leg and shark’s skin? They are all biological systems that inspired researchers to create applications with functions that mimic biological processes.
Engineering and eventually controlling the wettability of a surface has attracted a lot of attention within the scientific community, in large part, due to the very broad spectrum of engineering applications associated with wetting. Numerous technological applications related to non-wetting textiles, anti-fogging, anti-icing, buoyancy, flow improvement and anti-biofouling have seen the light of day in recent years. Most of these engineering applications were inspired by the behaviour of biological surfaces when interacting with various liquids.
Development of new and refinement of already existing technologies for manufacturing materials that repel all kinds of liquids become increasingly important. We present an improved wetting model, which predicts topographical characteristics of surface textures exhibiting superomniphobic traits. The new model is based on the well-understood original Cassie-Baxter model, providing, however, more realistic representations of the solid-liquid and liquid-air interfaces. The proposed model surpasses existing limitations of the original Cassie-Baxter model thereby setting the foundations of a road map towards surface topography optimization and, eventually, superomniphobicity.
Dr. Nikolaos Lempesis is a Senior Research Associate at the School of Engineering and Architecture (HEIA-FR) in Fribourg and member of the Plastics Innovation Competence Center (PICC).