What’s an excellent combination when it comes to reducing interfacial toughness with ice? Materials that are very hard, very thin, and hydrophobic. That’s a difficult ask, considering all the polymers typically used for their hydrophobicity are quite soft, at least compared to metals and ceramics. But there’s a strange class of materials so interesting that their discovery led to a Nobel Prize: quasicrystals. Ordered by aperiodic, this class of material is extremely unique. Some quasicrystalline metals are even hydrophobic, which we noticed right away!
Our latest study, Quasicrystalline Coatings Exhibit Durable Low Interfacial Toughness with Ice, explores quasicrystals as a robust LIT material for de-icing with longevity and resilience in mind. This is hopefully the first of many excellent studies in collaboration with Dr. Alina Agüero’s group at Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial in Spain!