The quest for supernonwetting, antireflection, mechanically durable optical surface

P. Mazumder, V. Pruneri, W. Senaratne
Corning Incorporated,
United States

Keywords: superhydrophobic, superoleophobic, antireflection, nanostructure

Summary:

Surfaces with outstanding optical characteristics and tunable wetting properties have much potential for applications in diverse array of technologies including self-cleaning solar panels and windows, anti-icing and anti-fog windshields, wearables, low-drag surfaces, anti-smudge touchscreens – to name a few. The wettability of a surface can be modified by a combination of surface chemistry and surface texturing – the latter also affect the optical properties of the surface. Among all the attributes, the most challenging is to achieve multi-functionality that includes super-omniphobicity (completely repels both water and oil), high transparency with minimal haze, and mechanical durability. In this talk, we will review our research effort towards achieving the holy grail of transparent, robust super-omniphobic substrates with outstanding mechanical durability. While simultaneously achieving all the exceptional traits still remain elusive, we have developed surfaces that have shown the highest optical performance with super-omniphobicity reported to date. We have also developed surfaces that offer wide angle antireflection properties superior to most commercially available multi-layered coatings. We will conclude the talk with a discussion of the outstanding challenges remaining in the field.