New paper out in Nature Materials

Coatings super-repellent to ultralow surface tension liquids, Nature Materials, DOI: 10.1038/s41563-018-0178-2

Link for free, full access to the paper:

Researchers from qBionano and collaborators have just published a new paper describing the design and engineering of a coating that is super-repellent to all liquids. Read more below.

Previous methods to achieve super-repellency have been based on “top-down approaches” (e.g. etching of silica wafer), this is the first method that describes a bottom-up approach (self-assembled nano-coating).


Electron microscopy images of the super-repellent coatings. Scale bars, 50 and 5 μm, respectively. The insets show the contact of a millimetre-sized oil droplet with the coating (a) and the typical inverted hierarchical trapezoidal structure at the cross-section (b). Inset scale bars, 5 mm and 5 μm, respectively.

“It’s been very exciting work”, Dr Mattias Björnmalm, one of the co-authors, said about the paper. “Being able to control liquid–solid interactions this precisely opens up a range of new research opportunities: both in fundamental and applied sciences. One could for example imagine medical devices that can resist fouling or new types of surfaces for exploring fundamental liquid dynamics”.


The images illustrate an ultralow surface tension oil droplet (n-hexane, initial droplet radius ≈ 1 mm) bouncing on a horizontally placed coated substrate. Time intervals are ~6 ms. Scale bar, 5 mm.

The work was an international collaboration with researchers from Imperial College London (UK), the University of Melbourne (Australia), the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (Australia) and Hunan University (China).

The article is available online (DOI) and additional full-text options are available here.