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Polymers 2014, 6(5), 1266-1311; doi:10.3390/polym6051266

Polymeric Slippery Coatings: Nature and Applications

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544-5263, USA
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-3015, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2014 / Revised: 16 April 2014 / Accepted: 23 April 2014 / Published: 30 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomimetic Polymers)


We review recent developments in nature-inspired superhydrophobic and omniphobic surfaces. Water droplets beading on a surface at significantly high static contact angles and low contact-angle hystereses characterize superhydrophobicity. Microscopically, rough hydrophobic surfaces could entrap air in their pores resulting in a portion of a submerged surface with air–water interface, which is responsible for the slip effect. Suberhydrophobicity enhances the mobility of droplets on lotus leaves for self-cleaning purposes, so-called lotus effect. Amongst other applications, superhydrophobicity could be used to design slippery surfaces with minimal skin-friction drag for energy conservation. Another kind of slippery coatings is the recently invented slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS), which are one type of omniphobic surfaces. Certain plants such as the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher inspired SLIPS. Their interior surfaces have microstructural roughness, which can lock in place an infused lubricating liquid. The lubricant is then utilized as a repellent surface for other liquids such as water, blood, crude oil, and alcohol. In this review, we discuss the concepts of both lotus effect and Nepenthes slippery mechanism. We then present a review of recent advances in manufacturing polymeric and non-polymeric slippery surfaces with ordered and disordered micro/nanostructures. Furthermore, we discuss the performance and longevity of such surfaces. Techniques used to characterize the surfaces are also detailed. We conclude the article with an overview of the latest advances in characterizing and using slippery surfaces for different applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomimetic; lotus effect; superhydrophobic; superoleophobic; omniphobic; SLIPS; microstructure roughness; drag reduction; longevity; contact angle; hysteresis; slip length biomimetic; lotus effect; superhydrophobic; superoleophobic; omniphobic; SLIPS; microstructure roughness; drag reduction; longevity; contact angle; hysteresis; slip length

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Samaha, M.A.; Gad-el-Hak, M. Polymeric Slippery Coatings: Nature and Applications. Polymers 2014, 6, 1266-1311.

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