Highly efficient solar anti-icing/deicing via a hierarchical structured surface†
Solar anti-icing/deicing (SADI) is an economically-efficient method of harvesting solar energy as heat for melting and removing ice. However, SADI materials with superior sunlight harvesting performances and high deicing rate remain elusive. Herein, the successful preparation of hierarchically macro/micro-structured polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) films was demonstrated based on a facile dual-template method. The as-fabricated films exhibited efficient broadband solar light absorption and high energy transfer efficiency (90.4%). When used as anti-icing/deicing materials, these SADI films exhibited excellent anti-icing/deicing performances under one sun illumination (qi = 1.0 kW m−2), i.e., long freezing delay time (tD > 2 h) and ultra-low deicing strength (∼0.2 kPa) even at an ultra-low temperature of −40 °C. The SADI surfaces showed a high deicing rate (>1.05 kg m−2 h−1) under various simulated realistic conditions over a wide range of geographical differences. Moreover, all the frost, rime, and glaze (ice thickness < 2 mm) could be easily removed within 300 s.