Preparation of Hydrophobic Coatings

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Background:Nature makes use of hydrophilic/hydrophobic coatings in very unique and effective manners. Take for example the Lotus flower that grows in muddy/murky waters yet emerges and remains remarkably clean. The leaves of the Lotus as well as many other flowers seem to cause water to bead up and roll off taking any contaminants or parasites along with it. It is now recognized that the fascinating fluid behaviors observed for the Lotus plant arise from a combination of the low interfacial energy and rough surface topography of waxy deposits covering their leaves. This property is known as super-hydrophobicity. If we could harness this capability within certain fields the implications could be profound. For instance properly placed hydrophilic/hydrophobic regions would allow for the collection and directed control of rolling droplets. This control would give the ability to create containerless surface tension confined fluidic devices that are non-fouling easy to clean and allow transport of highly concentrated fluids with no loss to the walls. The ability to control collection and flow allows for the coalescence/mixing of droplets which provide an ability to perform highly controlled reactions upstream of fluidic analysis.Technology Description:This coating mimics the self-cleaning properties of a lotus leaf and reproduces the lotus effect. The coating will cause water droplets to bead up. At very shallow angles of inclination or with the slightest wind water droplets actually roll rather than flow a property known as super-hydrophobicty. This method of coating will enable water droplets to entrain particle contaminants and parasites thereby cleaning them from the surface. It is now recognized that these fluid behaviors (rolling and bouncing of liquid droplets and self-cleaning of particle contaminants) arise from a combination of the low interfacial energy and rough surface topography of waxy deposits covering the surface.Applications:1) Channel fluids without loss to walls2) Coat objects to maintain cleanliness in soiled environments3) Surface treatment to prevent environmental damage4) Lining of ship hulls to drastically reduce drag5) Swimsuits also to reduce drag

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