Multi-Component Liquid-Infused Systems: A New Approach to Functional Coatings

10 January 2024, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Antifouling liquid-infused surfaces have generated interest in multiple fields due to their diverse applications in industry and medicine. In nearly all reports to date, the liquid component consists of only one chemical species. However, unlike traditional solid surfaces, the unique nature of liquid surfaces holds the potential for synergistic and even adaptive functionality simply by including additional elements in the liquid coating. In this work, we explore the concept of multi-component liquid-infused systems, in which the coating liquid consists of a primary liquid and a secondary component or components that provide additional functionality. For ease of understanding, we categorize recently reported multi-component liquid-infused surfaces according to the size of the secondary components: molecular scale, in which the secondary components are molecules; nanoscale, in which they are nanoparticles or their equivalent; and microscale, in which the additional components are micrometer size or above. We present examples at each scale, showing how introducing a secondary element into the liquid can result in synergistic effects, such as maintaining a pristine surface while actively modifying the surrounding environment, which are difficult to achieve in other surface treatments. The review highlights the diversity of fabrication methods and provides perspectives on future research directions. Introducing secondary components into the liquid matrix of liquid-infused surfaces is a promising strategy with significant potential to create a new class of multifunctional materials.




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