“Slippery” Liquid-Infused Surfaces Inspired by Nature
The bioinspired strategy of infusing a porous or textured surface with a liquid has been shown to be an exciting new way to create omniphobic and low adhesion surfaces. These slippery or “SLIPS” surfaces have properties similar to superhydrophobic surfaces that mimic the lotus leaf structure, but are more even resilient. They remain effective over larger temperature ranges, they better withstand pressure and shear forces, and they show repellency to a wide range of materials. The underlying texture does not require as precise a hierarchical structure as lotus leaf mimics in order to have liquid repelling properties, making liquid-infused surfaces easier to fabricate and more tolerant of wear or damage to the underlying solid surface. Beyond application as omniphobic surfaces, these liquid-infused materials show potential for other applications, such as resistance to biofouling, drag reduction, and even in specialized separations.