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Nature‐Inspired Substrate‐Independent Omniphobic and Antimicrobial Slippery Surfaces

Cox, Harrison J. and Gibson, Colin P. and Sharples, Gary J. and Badyal, Jas Pal S. (2022) 'Nature‐Inspired Substrate‐Independent Omniphobic and Antimicrobial Slippery Surfaces.', Advanced Engineering Materials, 24 (6). p. 2101288.


Inspired by the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant, a range of highly liquid repellent lubricant-infused surfaces has been devised (low water droplet contact angle hysteresis and sliding angle values). This entails matching functional pulsed plasma polymer nanolayers with appropriate slippery lubricants. A molecular-level structure–behavior relationship is developed, highlighting the importance of favorable aromatic–aliphatic intermolecular interactions between the coating and lubricant. Fluorinated lubricant-infused pulsed plasma polymer nanocoatings resist wetting by liquids, spanning a wide range of surface tensions (including pentane, motor oil, and water, i.e., omniphobicity). In the case of natural antimicrobial compound-infused functional plasma polymer surfaces (e.g., the essential oil cinnamaldehyde), multifunctional performance is attained combining high liquid repellency (self-cleaning) with simultaneous strong antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Escherichia coli (log10 reduction > 7). In addition, these lubricant-infused functional pulsed plasma polymer surfaces easily repel a variety of everyday liquids (including foodstuffs such as tomato ketchup and honey).

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cox, Harrison J., Gibson, Colin P., Sharples, Gary J. & Badyal, Jas Pal S. (2022). Nature‐Inspired Substrate‐Independent Omniphobic and Antimicrobial Slippery Surfaces. Advanced Engineering Materials 24(6): 2101288, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Date accepted:28 October 2021
Date deposited:01 February 2022
Date of first online publication:16 November 2021
Date first made open access:16 November 2022

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