Superhydrophobic surfaces

Superhydrophobic surfaces are highly hydrophobic, i.e., extremely difficult to wet. The contact angles of a water droplet exceed 150° and the roll-off angle/contact angle hysteresisis less than 10°. This is also referred to as the Lotus effect, after the super hydrophobic leaves of the lotus plant. A droplet impacting on these kind of surfaces can fully rebound like an elastic ball, or pancake.

  • 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”.