After a healthy round of review, our work uncovering what it truly means to be “liquidlike” has finally been published in ACS Nano! Excellent work by all and especially Dr. Zhao.
For decades researchers have thrown around terms such as “pseudoslippery”, “quasi-liquid”, and “liquid-like” to attempt to describe liquid molecules covalently tethered to solid surfaces. But what does being “like a liquid” really mean? In Xiaoxiao’s study we systematically uncovered how PDMS brushes do and do not act like liquids and provide multiple, macroscopic properties that quantify how “liquidlike” a surface really is. Practically this enabled us to produce surfaces where ice literally slides off over time, in addition to repelling many different types of other fluids. Unlike prior icephobic surfaces where crack propagation and shear strength are important, here ice is sliding rather than breaking an adhesive bond. Think lubrication but the lubricant can never wash away!