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New coating creates tough, super-slippery 'super glass'

Aug. 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM   |   Comments

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- A new coating can turn ordinary glass into a super glass that is tough, self-cleaning and incredibly slippery, U.S. researchers said.

A team from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University says the new coating could lead to durable, scratch-resistant lenses for eyeglasses, self-cleaning windows, improved solar panels and new medical diagnostic devices.

The new coating builds on a technology pioneered at the institute called Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces, the slipperiest synthetic surface known, a Harvard release said Friday.

The new coating is equally slippery, but much more durable and fully transparent, the researchers said, solving longstanding challenges in creating commercially useful materials that repel almost everything.

The SLIPS coating repels almost all liquids including water, wine, olive oil and ketchup.

Unlike earlier water-repelling materials, the researchers said, SLIPS also repels oil and sticky liquids such as honey, and it resists ice formation and bacterial biofilms as well.

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