Anti-icing surfaces a hot subject

The research on icephobic surfaces is a growing field attracting much attention due to their significant economic, energy and safety implications. The complex nature of icephobicity, which requires performance in a broad range of icing scenarios, creates many challenges when designing ice-repellent surfaces and different strategies have been proposed.

The recently edited journal “Nature Reviews Materials”, from the Nature Publishing group, features the topic as its first review article denoting the popularity and importance of passive anti-icing surfaces. In their article, the authors review the different strategies proposed to reduce ice-adhesion, superhydrophobic surfaces incorporating micro- or nanoscale roughness, smooth surfaces and surfaces that present a liquid interface. The nature of ice repellency in all environments and the design of robust icephobic surfaces are regarded as two of the main problems to be tackled.

The HYDROBOND project is working in anti-icing surfaces with high durability since the beginning but also in the atomic modelling of the interaction between water molecules and surface atoms.