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Slippery Surfaces: How nanoscience is changing our material world

Inspired by biology, Professor Joanna Aizenberg’s research designs slippery surfaces that mimic those found in nature. Her novel Nanostructured Materials will have huge impacts in areas as diverse as medicine, construction, shipping industries, aircraft industries, fluid handling and transportation, and optical sensing. Motivated by the slippery surfaces of a pitcher plant, Professor Aizenberg and her team have invented the SLIPS, a new technology to create self-healing, anti-fouling materials. With the ability to resist ice and microbes sticking to surfaces, repel various simple and complex liquids, prevent marine fouling, these novel nanostructured materials have definitely outperformed state-of-the-art materials.

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Photography by R. Nial Bradshaw.