Coatings super-repellent to ultralow surface tension liquids



High-performance coatings that durably and fully repel liquids are of interest for fundamental research and practical applications. Such coatings should allow for droplet beading, roll off and bouncing, which is difficult to achieve for ultralow surface tension liquids. Here we report a bottom-up approach to prepare super-repellent coatings using a mixture of fluorosilanes and cyanoacrylate. On application to surfaces, the coatings assemble into thin films of locally multi-re-entrant hierarchical structures with very low surface energies. The resulting materials are super-repellent to solvents, acids and bases, polymer solutions and ultralow surface tension liquids, characterized by ultrahigh liquid contact angles (>150°) and negligible roll-off angles (~0°). Furthermore, the coatings are transparent, durable and demonstrate universal liquid bouncing, tailored responsiveness and anti-freezing properties, and are thus a promising alternative to existing synthetic super-repellent coatings.

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Fig. 1: Super-repellent transparent PFTS/BCA coatings.
Fig. 2: Near friction-free rolling of droplets on PTFS/BCA coatings.
Fig. 3: Stretch–responsiveness and extrusion of bouncing droplets.
Fig. 4: Super-repellency even to sub-10 mN m−1 liquids.

Data availability

Data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article (and its Supplementary Information) and from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.


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This research was conducted jointly and funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC grant nos 51703056, 21707031, 21606081, 21527810, 21521063, 21575036, 21307029, 21221003, 21205034 and 21190041), National Key Basic Research Program (project no. 2011CB911000), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (project no. 2016M602402), China Scholarship Council (file no. 201606130022), Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province of China (project no. 2018JJ3028), Horizon 2020/European Union (grant agreement no. 745676), Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology (project no. CE140100036) and the ARC under the Australian Laureate Fellowship scheme (grant no. FL120100030).

Author information




R.G. and S.P. conceived the ideas and, with the help of W.X., J.J. and F.C., designed and conducted the experiments, and analysed the data. All the authors discussed and interpreted the results and contributed to the writing of the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Shuaijun Pan or Weijian Xu or Jianhui Jiang or Frank Caruso.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Video Legends 1–26, Supplementary Figures 1–36, Supplementary Tables 1–3, Supplementary References 1–31

Supplementary Video 1

Hexane drop bouncing on a planar superomniphobic (SOP) substrate

Supplementary Video 2

Pentane drop rolls off a SOP slope of 18°

Supplementary Video 3

Pentane drop rolls off a SOP slope of 37°

Supplementary Video 4

Pentane drop bounces on a SOP woven fabric (low Weber number)

Supplementary Video 5

Pentane drop breaks through the facial SOP coating (medium Weber number)

Supplementary Video 6

Pentane drop bounces on a full SOP coating (medium Weber number)

Supplementary Video 7

Jumping satellite drop of pentane (high Weber number)

Supplementary Video 8

Coalescence of extruded satellite drops of pentane (higher Weber number)

Supplementary Video 9

Continuous impacting of pentane jet

Supplementary Video 10

Bouncing of HF on coated TLC plate

Supplementary Video 11

Bouncing of PVDF solution

Supplementary Video 12

Bouncing of FC-72 at high temperatures

Supplementary Video 13

Bouncing of FC-72 at high atmospheres

Supplementary Video 14

Impact of liquid nitrogen droplet on a coated TLC plate

Supplementary Video 15

Rolling off liquid nitrogen filament on a coated TLC plate

Supplementary Video 16

Impact of liquid nitrogen droplet on a coated print paper

Supplementary Video 17

Wetting of liquid nitrogen on an uncoated TLC plate

Supplementary Video 18

Freezing of water on a five-tier substrate

Supplementary Video 19

Freezing of water on a four-tier substrate

Supplementary Video 20

Freezing of water on a three-tier (microstructure) substrate

Supplementary Video 21

Freezing of water on a three-tier (nanostructure) substrate

Supplementary Video 22

Freezing of water on a two-tier substrate

Supplementary Video 23

Freezing of water on a one-tier (control) substrate

Supplementary Video 24

Impinging water drop on a −20 °C SOP substrate (We = 3)

Supplementary Video 25

Reduced contact time of water droplet with a −20 °C SOP substrate (We = 60)

Supplementary Video 26

Scratch durability testing

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Pan, S., Guo, R., Björnmalm, M. et al. Coatings super-repellent to ultralow surface tension liquids. Nature Mater 17, 1040–1047 (2018).

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