- Teflon: Super smooth solid surface that causes liquids to roll on contact
- Superhydrophic Surface: Highly porous solid surface that creates an air cushion for liquids to slide on
- Oil: A naturally slippery film that depletes over time
These slippery surfaces work for some liquids however they are not as versatile or durable as LiquiGlide’s coatings.
LiquiGlide was invented at MIT and is a patents-pending technology platform. LiquiGlide Inc. is the commercial entity that is taking this technology to market. In our lab in Cambridge, MA, we custom develop coatings against client specifications.
The coating is made up of different materials, depending on the application. Firstly we identify liquids that are compatible with the chemical and physical properties of our client’s product. Once we have found a suitable liquid, we select solid materials that are promising to adhere to the client’s surface and that will form a suitable porous structure. The porous solid entraps the liquid through capillary forces. These forces are sufficient to hold the liquid in place against forces > 50g. Once we have a prototype in place we create a scalable and commercially viable application process. The end result: A durable and high performing coating that meets all the requirements of our client.
We can control the speed at which liquids slide over the surface, by changing the materials or structure of the coating. Below are videos demonstrating water droplets sliding over 3 different versions of the surface at speeds ranging over 2 orders of magnitude.
Droplet Mobility on Lubricant-Impregnated Surfaces
J.D. Smith, R. Dhiman, S. Anand, E.R. Garduno, R.E. Cohen, G.H. McKinley, K.K. Varanasi Soft Matter, 2012.
Enhanced Condensation on Lubricant-Impregnated Nanotextured Surfaces
S. Anand, A.T. Paxson, R. Dhiman, J.D. Smith, K.K. Varanasi. ACS Nano, 2012.
Liquid-Encapsulating Surfaces: Overcoming the Limitations of Superhydrophobic Surfaces for Robust Non-Wetting and
J.D. Smith, R. Dhiman, K.K. Varanasi. Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 2011, 56
Droplet Condensation and Growth on Nanotextured Surfaces Impregnated with an Immiscible Liquid
S. Anand, A.T. Paxson, R. Dhiman, J.D. Smith, K.K. Varanasi. Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 2012, 57