Self-Cleaning Surfaces with Morphology Mimicking Superhydrophobic Biological Surfaces
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
5315 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta, GA, 30341
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Abstract76104-This project will develop a cost-effective process for producing self-cleaning surfaces based in part on the super-hydrophobic nature of the Lotus leaf. The scalability of the process will make it attractive for direct incorporation in processes used in the multi-billion dollar glass and ceramic industries. Phase I will investigate the effects of material composition, thickness, and particle size on self-cleaning, mechanical, and optical properties. The optimal micro and nano-scale structure of the self-cleaning layer will be determined. Then mechanisms will be developed for the structure-forming particles to impart improved abrasion resistance and transparency without compromising their self-cleaning or anti-reflective nature ¿ improved abrasion resistance would improve the resistance to the mechanical effects of raindrops impinging on the surface. Phase II will involve further property enhancement while minimizing the cost and increasing the coating rate. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Self-cleaning surfaces could yield energy savings of over $1 billion a year by removing the need for washing, scrubbing, and chemically polishing windows, ceramics and other surfaces. Other applications for the self-cleaning coating include the protective cover glass of photovoltaic cells (increasing light transmission to the cells and thereby increasing the long-term efficiency of solar panels exposed to rainfall) and automotive glass (where the self-cleaning feature can result in reduced vehicle weight, eliminating the need for components currently required to clean the glass).
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