Bret Chisholm, director of the Combinatorial Materials Research Lab and senior research scientist at NDSUs Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), and Jie He, research scientist, have received $136,756 for research on hydrophobic (super water repellent) coatings. The National Science Foundation grant was awarded to NDSU research partner Seashell Technology LLC, San Diego, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act with funding for research conducted by Chisholm and He.
The CNSE research titled Abrasion Resistant Ultrahydrophobic Coatings centers upon the second phase of collaborative research by Seashell Technology and NDSU. In the first phase, researchers successfully developed an ultrahydrophobic coating that can covalently attach to its substrate and provide corrosion prevention for military aircraft. The coating developed does not allow the underlying metal surface to corrode. When water hits the coating, water beads into tight spheres that roll off the surface. This key feature results from incorporating surface roughness at the micro- and nanoscale levels.
CNSE and Seashell Technology researchers also have conducted experiments using the ultrahydrophobic coating on paper and fabrics, ultimately producing a water-repellent cloth. Funding of the second phase of this research will further investigate the ultrahydrophobic coating and potential applications for military and commercial use.
Seashell Technology LLC is engaged in the development of a number of specialized coatings with unique functionality and has ongoing projects with the National Institutes of Health, divisions of the Department of Defense, universities and public institutions.
NDSUs Combinatorial Materials Research Laboratory combines robotic machines and commercial software with machines and equipment designed and built by the CNSE engineering team. The laboratory is involved in research projects sponsored by both the U.S. government and industry, with ongoing research in marine coatings, antimicrobial coatings, bioactive polymers and coatings, coatings for corrosion protection and hybrid organic-inorganic coatings.