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Multifunctionality of Liquid-filled Porous Materials: From Encryption to Anti-Fouling

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First Lewis Lecture

Liquids entrapped within a structured solid begin to exhibit unique behaviors often providing the surrounding material with unprecedented properties. Recently we have developed two award-winning materials platforms (R&D 100 awards in 2012 and 2013), both based on the infusion of a liquid into a porous substrate. First, we introduced a new strategy to create self-healing, anti-fouling materials (so-called Slippery, Lubricant-Infused Porous Surfaces, or SLIPS ) that outperform state-of-the-art materials in their ability to resist ice and microbial adhesion and repel various simple and complex liquids. Second, we pioneered a technique for patterning 3D photonic crystals, generating complex wettability patterns, and illustrated multilevel encryption, with selective decoding by specific liquids, so-called Watermark Ink, or W-INK. Generalized, low-cost, and scalable methods to manufacture SLIPS and W-Ink on glass, ceramics, polymers, fabrics and metals will be presented. We anticipate that slippery surfaces can find important applications as antifouling materials in medicine, construction, fluid handling and transportation, while chemically patterned photonic structures can serve as colorimetric indicators for liquids, or used in encryption and anti-tampering applications.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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