Hydrophilic coating

Hydrophilic coatings exhibit water-loving characteristics. Chemically, this means they participate in dynamic hydrogen bonding with surrounding water. In most cases, hydrophilic coatings are also ionic and usually negatively charged, which further facilitates aqueous interactions. Physically, these chemical interactions with water give rise to hydrogel materials that may exhibit extremely low coefficients of friction. Taken together, such chemical and physical characteristics describe a class of materials that are wettable, lubricious, and suitable for tailored biological interactions.

  • Lubricant for Oil Tankers

    The aquatic fern Salvinia molesta traps underwater in a thin layer of air, which it can hold for many weeks. © Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott/Uni Bonn

    If ship hulls were coated with special high-tech air trapping materials, up to one percent of global CO2 emissions could be avoided. This is the conclusion reached by scientists from the University of Bonn together with colleagues from St. Augustin and Rostock in a recent study. According to the study, ships could save up to 20 percent of fuel as a result of reduced drag. If so-called antifouling effects are also considered, such as the reduced growth of organisms on the hull, the reduction can even be doubled. The study has now been published in the journal “Philosophical Transactions A”.