The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is to develop coatings for plastics, with applications from sanitation to automotive displays. Few surface coatings on plastics can resist fouling of bacteria and mineral deposits while also achieving both liquid- and sludge-repellency. This project will develop a slippery surface coating that repels liquid, sludge, bacteria, and mineral deposits on common plastics.
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase II project will advance translation of liquid-entrenched smooth surface (LESS) coatings that can be directly applied to various plastics. Functionalizing plastics with mechanically durable surface coatings is challenging owing to the lack of reactive surface chemistry. LESS demonstrates excellent liquid- and sludge-repellency with over 95% reduction in bacteria accumulation and mineral deposits compared to untreated surfaces. This project will investigate the optimal formulation and coating parameters to enhance interfacial bonding strength of LESS onto plastics through combined molecular dynamic simulations and experimental characterizations. The newly developed LESS-on-plastics coatings will be systematically evaluated for their mechanical and UV durability, liquid- and sludge-repellency as well as the anti-bacterial and anti-scaling functions.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.