Ice adhesion on superhydrophobic surfaces can significantly increase in humid environments because of frost nucleation within the textures. Here, we studied frost formation and ice adhesion on superhydrophobic surfaces with various surface morphologies using direct microscale imaging combined with macroscale adhesion tests. Whereas ice adhesion increases on microtextured surfaces, a 15-fold decrease is observed on nanotextured surfaces. This reduction is because of the inhibition of frost formation within the nanofeatures and the stabilization of vapor pockets. Such “Cassie ice”-promoting textures can be used in the design of anti-icing surfaces.

Paper: Srinivas Bengaluru Subramanyam, Vitaliy Kondrashov, Jürgen Rühe, Kripa K. Varanasi, ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

PDF: Download the PDF