Researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have taken the slipperiest synthetic surface known - Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces or SLIPS – and developed a new transparent and durable glass coating. Inspired by the ultraslippery surface of the pitcher plant, the researchers created a honeycomb structure at the nanoscale to hold lubricant. The result is a highly resilient material that can be used to build self-cleaning solar panels and glass surfaces. The coating has many other potential applications, from keeping surfaces ice-free to repelling biofilms to improving lab-on-a-chip technologies.
By repelling dirt, ice, or bacterial growth, the coating has the potential to eliminate the need for many chemical cleaners, as well as increase the efficiency of a range of products.