Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A possible answer for protection against chemical/biological agents, fuel leaks, and coffee stains

Date:
January 31, 2013
Source:
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Summary:
A recent discovery may very well lead to a process that not only benefits every uniformed service member of the U.S. Department of Defense, but everyone else as well: protection from chemical/biological agents, to self-cleaning apparel, to effortless thermal management, to fuel purification as well as enhanced control of leaks -- especially oil and fuels.

A recent discovery funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) may very well lead to a process that not only benefits every uniformed service member of the Department of Defense, but everyone else as well: protection from Chemical/Biological agents, to self-cleaning apparel, to effortless thermal management, to fuel purification as well as enhanced control of leaks -- especially oil and fuels.

In 2006, AFOSR Program Manager Dr. Charles Lee funded Professor Gareth McKinley at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology exploring nanocomposite technology for Defense applications. Anish Tuteja, an MIT doctoral student at the time, was exploiting the unusual surface properties of a nanocomposite with fluorinated nanoparticles, to create a superoleophobic surface. After graduation, Tuteja moved to University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he is currently an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, specializing in chemical engineering and macromolecular science and engineering. He was awarded a Young Investigator Program grant from AFOSR in 2011, and continued to conduct the same line of research begun at MIT. His team also included doctoral student Shuaijun Pan and postdoctoral researcher Arun Kota, as well as collaboration with Dr. Joseph Mabry, from the Rocket Propulsion Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory, at Edwards AFB, California.

In their latest paper, "Superomniphobic Surfaces for Effective Chemical Shielding," in the current issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Tuteja and his team have demonstrated surfaces that effectively perform as "chemical shields against virtually all liquids."

To make this possible, surfaces are prepared using a nanoscale coating that is approximately 95 percent air, which in turn, repels liquids of any material in its class, causing them to literally bounce off the treated surface. The surfaces "possess hierarchical scales of re-entrant texture that significantly reduce the solid−liquid contact area." It all comes down to controlling how much contact the liquid ultimately has with the treated surface. To accomplish that the researchers apply the nanoscale coating using a process called electrospinning -- using an electric charge to create fine particles of solid derived from a liquid solution.

The coating is a mixture of cross-linked "polydimethylsiloxane," or PDMS, and liquid-resisting nanoscale cubes developed by the Air Force that contain carbon, fluorine, silicon and oxygen. While the material's chemistry is important, so is its texture, because it hugs the pore structure of whatever surface it is applied to, and creates a fine web of air pockets within those pores, so any liquid that comes in contact with the coating is barely touching a solid surface.

According to Dr. Tuteja, when an untreated surface and a liquid get in close proximity, "they imbue a small positive or negative charge on each other, and as soon as the liquid comes in contact with the solid surface, it will start to spread….we've drastically reduced the interaction between the surface and the droplet." By effectively eliminating the contact between the treated surface and the liquid, there is almost no incentive for the liquid to spread, as such, the droplets stay intact, interacting only with molecules of themselves, and maintaining their spherical shape.

The research team has tested more than 100 liquids and found only two that were able to penetrate the coating: they were both chlorofluorocarbons -- chemicals used in refrigerators and air conditioners. In Tuteja's lab demonstrations the surface repelled coffee, soy sauce and vegetable oil, as well as toxic hydrochloric and sulfuric acids, and the surfaces are also resistant to gasoline and various alcohols.

This program is of particular interest to the Air Force and the Department of Defense, as it can be useful for self-cleaning surfaces (in particular, integral breathable protective Chemical/Biological Warfare defense in uniform clothing and sensor systems), improvement of thermal management efficiency in phase change cooling systems, fuel purification and the control of oil and fuel leakages in rockets and airplanes. Not to mention, protection against the everyday coffee spill.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shuaijun Pan, Arun K. Kota, Joseph M. Mabry, Anish Tuteja. Superomniphobic Surfaces for Effective Chemical Shielding. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013; 135 (2): 578 DOI: 10.1021/ja310517s

Cite This Page:

Air Force Office of Scientific Research. "A possible answer for protection against chemical/biological agents, fuel leaks, and coffee stains." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120904.htm>.
Air Force Office of Scientific Research. (2013, January 31). A possible answer for protection against chemical/biological agents, fuel leaks, and coffee stains. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120904.htm
Air Force Office of Scientific Research. "A possible answer for protection against chemical/biological agents, fuel leaks, and coffee stains." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130131120904.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins