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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Bioinspired Multifunctional Anti-icing Hydrogel

  • Author(s): He, Z
  • Wu, C
  • Hua, M
  • Wu, S
  • Wu, D
  • Zhu, X
  • Wang, J
  • He, X
  • et al.

© 2019 Elsevier Inc. The recent anti-icing strategies in the state of the art mainly focused on three aspects: inhibiting ice nucleation, preventing ice propagation, and decreasing ice adhesion strength. However, it is has proved difficult to prevent ice nucleation and propagation while decreasing adhesion simultaneously, due to their highly distinct, even contradictory design principles. In nature, anti-freeze proteins (AFPs) offer a prime example of multifunctional integrated anti-icing materials that excel in all three key aspects of the anti-icing process simultaneously by tuning the structures and dynamics of interfacial water. Here, inspired by biological AFPs, we successfully created a multifunctional anti-icing material based on polydimethylsiloxane-grafted polyelectrolyte hydrogel that can tackle all three aspects of the anti-icing process simultaneously. The simplicity, mechanical durability, and versatility of these smooth hydrogel surfaces make it a promising option for a wide range of anti-icing applications.

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