Bio-inspired Candidate Surfaces with Superomniphobic Characteristics

A great amount of valuable commodities of daily life, such as food, water and other domestic products is lost due to their adhesion to the packaging material. Development of new and refinement of already existing technologies for manufacturing packaging materials that repel all kinds of liquids become increasingly important. In this work, we report the development of an improved wetting model, which predicts topographical characteristics of surfaces exhibiting superomniphobic traits. The new model is based on the well-understood original Cassie-Baxter model, providing, however, more realistic representations of the solid-liquid and liquid-air interfaces. The proposed model surpasses existing limitations of the original Cassie-Baxter model involving a) the existence of a straight liquid-air interface, b) poor involvement of the liquid characteristics into the model, c) discontinuous transition from the Cassie-Baxter (partial wetting) to the Wenzel state (full wetting). In this report, we provide indicative evidence that our extended model provides more meaningful and more physical results, while at the same time does not suffer from any of the drawbacks described above. The extended model describes a roadmap to surface topography optimization opening, thus, the way to superomniphobicity.

Project Partners
Plastics innovation Competence Center - Haute Ecole d'Ingénierie et d'Architecture de Fribourg

Project Manager
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Koopmans HEIA-FR / PICC

Project Funding

The BIOS project addresses these challenges by :

  1. developing a simulation tool enabling the definition of appropriate omniphobic surface topologies tuned to the application ;
  2. redesigning existing plastics processing techniques of scale to enable a smart omniphobic surface topology creation;
  3. producing prototype smart omniphobic surface topologies on injection moulded parts and extruded films.