An innovative surface design from MIT changes how droplets bounce to keep surfaces ice-free.
The design builds on previous research that proved small features—such as ridges—added to a surface will change the action of a water droplet. Armed with that knowledge, the team created bowl-shaped rings on the surface of the material that cause the droplet to spread out within the bowl and then deflect upwards, away from the surface. This reduces the amount of time the water remains on the surface, in turn reducing interaction time and the risk of ice formation.
Image- Droplets that land on a specially prepared surface with tiny ring-shaped patterns splash upward in a bowl shape, as seen in this photo, instead of spreading out over the surface, thus minimizing the water’s contact with the surface.