Biomimetic Superhydrophobic Surfaces Using Viral Nano-Templates

Problem: Limitation in fabrication methods Technology: Significant efforts have focused on mimicking the naturally occurring structures of the lotus leaf, which demonstrates superhydrophobic self-cleaning properties. This invention provides a new fabrication process to not only recreate the hierarchical structures, but also provide key insights into the role of both the nanoscale and microscale features in the evolutionary development of these plants. The biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces are synthesized using self-assembly and metallization of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) onto micropillar arrays. The TMV is a benign plant virus measuring 300 nm in length and 18 nm in diameter, which can be genetically engineered to include cysteines with enhanced binding properties. The produced biomimetic surfaces are robust, with droplets rebound when impact velocities are greater than 4.3 m/s. Christopher Noble

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