University of Michigan
A team of University of Michigan materials science is reporting a breakthrough that could have big implications for everything from stain-free clothing to protective surface coatings and chemical resistant protective suits: a superomniphobic coating that is resistant to pretty much any liquid we know of. The coating is derived from an electrospun coating that is carefully structured in a cross-linked pattern that essentially makes it impervious to attack from any contact angle, and that’s really the critical piece to this. We’ve seen superhydrophobic surfaces before that are extremely adept at repelling high surface tension liquids like water. And we’ve seen what are known as superoleophobic materials that are repellant toward low surface tension liquids. But superomniphobic surfaces have been more elusive. In laboratory settings they’ve been developed for resistance to Newtonian fl uids, but the U. of Michigan teams claim that their material is the first that is truly supermniphobic in the sense that any liquid you throw at it–organic or inorganic, high surface tension or low surface tension, Newtonian or non-Newtonian (repellant to ketchup!)–will bounce or roll off.