Scientists Made Superomniphobic Material That Even Repels Blood

First Posted: Jan 18, 2013 11:22 AM EST

Scientists have developed a so-called "superomniphobic" surface that allows for the production of absolutely stain-proof, spill-proof clothing, protective garments, and other products that shrug off virtually every liquid - from blood and ketchup to concentrated acids.

Scientists already succeeded in making"omniphobic" surfaces, the term meaning that such surfaces reject a range of different liquids, causing them to bead up and not spread on them. But typically very low surface tension liquids such as some oils and alcohols can adhere to those surfaces.

Scientists have also mostly focused on making surfaces that repel only one of the two families of liquids - Newtonian liquids (most liquids) named for the English scientist who described how they flow.

Anish Tuteja and colleagues attempted to do the same for non-Newtonian liquids, which include blood, yogurt, gravy, non-drip paint, various polymer solutions, concentrated acids and bases, and a range of other liquids. They reported that virtually all liquids easily roll off and bounce on the new surfaces, which makes them ideal for protecting  materials from the effects of chemicals.
Their hierarchically structured superomniphobic surfaces possess more than one scale of texture (a finer length scale texture on an underlying coarser length scale texture).

Apart from the ever quoted stain-free clothing and spill-resistant, breathable protective wear, it would also allow applications like surfaces that shrug off microbes like bacteria; and corrosion-resistant coatings.

Funding was provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, and the China Scholarship Council.

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