Transparent, incredibly water repellent coatings for everyday applications


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • For the first time developing a fluorinated polymer foam which, in addition, is transparent and insensitive to abrasion. This material, called Fluoropor,
  • Superhydrophobic properties develop due to structuring on the nano/microscale. Such extremely fine structures (one nanometer is a billionth of a meter) make surfaces highly sensitive to abrasion and account for the fact that they are not sufficiently robust for everyday applications.
  • In the case of Fluoropor, in contrast, the nano-/microstructure is not limited to the surface but occurs throughout the material, thus giving the material a high long-term abrasion resistance and suitability for daily use.
  • The foam seems optically transparent due to its tiny pores whose diameter is below the wavelength of visible light. Fluoropor, therefore, is ideally suited as a coating for transparent substrates such as glass.
  • The material, can, however, also be applied to e.g., metal, polymers, or textiles.
  • Fluoropor can be efficiently manufactured in one step in different thicknesses by so-called photo-induced radical polymerization.


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