It took marine sponges millions of years to perfect their spike-like structures, but research mimicking these formations may soon alter how industrial coatings and 3-D printed objects are produced.
A molecular process developed by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory paves the way for improved silica structure design by introducing microscopic, segmented screw-like spikes that can more effectively bond materials for commercial use.
The study, conducted by Jaswinder Sharma and his colleagues Panos Datskos and David Cullen, has been published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Authors said other applications of the screw-like spikes could include coatings for eyeglasses, television screens, commercial transportation, and even self-cleaning windows and roofs in rural and urban environments.
Created by emulsion droplets applied to a silica particle’s surface, the new, segmented spikes offer an alternative tool for material scientists and engineers that can better maintain and fuse bonds within a variety of microstructures. [Read more…]