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Water- and dirt-repellent sportswear and outdoor clothing, or anti-fog windshields -- there are many everyday products that can profit from highly hydrophobic coatings. For such coatings, researchers led by Dr. Bastian E. Rapp at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have created Fluoropor, a material that is both transparent and abrasion-resistant and that consists of a fluorinated polymer foam with continuous nano/micro-structure. Fluoropor is presented in Nature Scientific Reports.

 

Water droplets run off the leaf surface: In nature, this phenomenon is mainly known from lotus plants. Researchers imitate this lotus effect by means of superhydrophobic i.e., highly water-repellent, surfaces. At KIT, the team of Dr. Bastian E. Rapp at the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) develops a new class of such materials called Fluoropor. The researchers combine the properties of fluoropolymers i.e., plastics with a degree of fluorination, with the roughness known from lotus leaves. In this way, they obtain surfaces that are both oil- and water-repellent. The new materials are characterized by a high chemical and thermal stability. Together with researchers from the Institute for Applied Materials -- Computational Materials Science (IAM-CMS), the researchers in Dr. Rapp's junior research group NeptunLab succeeded for the first time in developing a fluorinated polymer foam which, in addition, is transparent and insensitive to abrasion. This material, called Fluoropor, is introduced in Nature Scientific Reports.

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Category: Science