Daniel Porter
Jun 11, 2012

Harvard researchers prevent icing

The accumulation of ice under high-humidity freezing conditions is a significant problem in everything from your refrigerator to high-flying aircraft. For years, researchers have been searching for a way to prevent icing on a variety of surfaces in these conditions, but their efforts have been foiled by microscopic defects in material surfaces that promote the condensation of water and formation of ice. Now, Harvard researchers have developed a coating, inspired partially by the water-shedding properties of the lotus leaf, that can effectively be applied to many metal surfaces to prevent water and ice accumulation. "This new approach to icephobic materials is a truly disruptive idea that offers a way to make a transformative impact on energy and safety costs associated with ice, and we are actively working with the refrigeration and aviation industries to bring it to market," said Aizenberg.