Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface
A new material called Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface (SLIPS) has been created by materials scientist Professor Joanna Aizenberg and colleagues at Harvard University.
The scientists, whose research is published in the scientific journal Nature, immobilised a "lubricating film" inside the pores of a spongelike layer of Teflon to produce a smooth and highly slippery surface.
By carefully selecting the lubricating film, the substance chemically repelled other liquids. The result can be compared to the effect of bringing together the poles of two magnets.
(Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface, or SLIPS video)
Professor Aizenberg added: "The lubricating film is locked in place so it does not mix with liquids placed on the surface. By carefully selecting the lubricant we impregnate the pores with, it means we can repel a broad spectrum of liquids.
"There are a lot of potential applications for this, but among the ones I am most excited about are use in the energy industry for making oil flow more efficiently through pipes for example.
"It also repels ice and so is not prone to icing up, which would be ideal on aircraft wings or in industrial freezer units. We could use it as an anti-graffiti surface, so paint sprayed onto a wall would just slide off."
SF writers have been preparing the way for this kind of surface for many years. In his 1965 novel Dune, Frank Herbert writes about a water-repellent surface used by the Fremen:
A splashing sounded on her left. She looked down the shadowy line of Fremen, saw Stilgar with Paul standing beside him and the watermasters emptying their load into the pool through a flowmeter...
Superb accuracy in water measurement, Jessica thought. And she noted that the walls of the meter trough held no trace of moisture after the water's passage. The water flowed off those walls without binding tension. She saw a profound clue to Fremen technology in the simple fact: they were perfectionists.
Also, in their 1974 novel The Mote in God's Eye, Niven and Pournelle describe a frictionless cup:
The bathroom - the toilet was different. Just as he had sketched it. Wrong; there wasn't any water in it. And no flush. What the hell, there was only one way to test a toilet. When he looked, the bowl was sparkling clean. He poured a glass of water into it and watched it run away without leaving a drop. The bowl was a frictionless surface. Have to mention this to Bury, he thought. There were bases on airless moons, and worlds where water, or energy for recycling it, was scarce.
Via the Telegraph; thanks to Winchell Chung at Project Rho for the tip on the story and a quote.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/16/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat
Writing with light, erasing with heat.
Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.
MIT's aeroMorph Technology
'... It falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.
Russia's Protective Ferrite Fabric
'His suit-shield sucked in the energy and discharged it...'- Philip K. Dick, 1954.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'
Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!
Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'
NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'
Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-
Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'
Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'
Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'
Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'
When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'
LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'
Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'
The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'
Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories