Scientific Programme

Back to overview


Bio-Inspired Soft Interfaces with Controlled Ice Formation and Adhesion

Tuesday (17.03.2020)
14:20 - 14:40
Part of:

Soft interfaces and materials with freeze-tolerant and ice resistant properties are irreplaceable in life and materials science including engineering applications. Examples include cryopreservation, ice-templating, and robustness in functional coatings. Current advanced anti-icing strategies based on hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials exist but have intrinsic disadvantages, which limit their applicability.[1-3]

Our group aims to develop amphiphilic materials combining advantages of different ice preventing strategies such as supressing of freezing point using colligative properties or kinetic inhibition as well as de-icing strategies using low surfaces energy components. Specifically, we aim at the understanding of molecular origins of ice nucleation and formation at chemically heterogeneous interfaces and their correlation to macroscopic ice adhesion.[2] Ice formation from supercooled water drops is initiated by nucleation when the size of an ice embryo reaches a critical value. The lack of controlling the inception of heterogeneous nucleation and the rate of solidification, which depend on the properties of the substrate, temperature, and impact parameters of the liquid drop, poses a very serious challenge to the design of effective ice-preventing materials. In this exploratory experimental study, we show how a significant nucleation delay during impact of supercooled water drops can be achieved by tuning the properties of the substrate and, specifically, by introducing chemical and topographical heterogeneities on the surfaces formed by a mixture of either polymer-coated hydrophilic and hydrophobic particles or Janus particles.[3]

[1] Kirillova, A., Marschelke, C., and Synytska, A. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2019, 11, 10, 9643.

[2] Kirillova, A., Ionov, L., Roisman, I., and Synytska, A. Chem. Mater. 2016 28, 19, 6995.

[3] Schwarzer, M., Otto, T., Schremb, M., Marschelke, C., Tee, H., Wurm, F., Roisman, I., Tropea, C., and Synytska, A. Chem. Mater. 2019, 31, 112.


Dr. Alla Synytska
Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)
Additional Authors:
  • Madeleine Schwarzer
    Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)
  • Thomas Otto
    Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (IPF)