Case 14176

Biomimetic Superhydrophobic Surfaces Using Viral Nano-Templates


Superhydrophobic surface, Self-cleaning properties, Biomimetic surface, Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)


    Coating on buildings, solar cells, and textiles, as well as drag reduction and increased heat transfer via drop-wise condensation in heat exchangers


    Limitation in fabrication methods


Significant efforts have focused on mimicking the naturally occurring structures of the lotus leaf, which demonstrates superhydrophobic self-cleaning properties. This invention provides a new fabrication process to not only recreate the hierarchical structures, but also provide key insights into the role of both the nanoscale and microscale features in the evolutionary development of these plants. The biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces are synthesized using self-assembly and metallization of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) onto micropillar arrays. The TMV is a benign plant virus measuring 300 nm in length and 18 nm in diameter, which can be genetically engineered to include cysteines with enhanced binding properties. The produced biomimetic surfaces are robust, with droplets rebound when impact velocities are greater than 4.3 m/s.


    The static contact angles are greater than 150 degrees and the droplet hysteresis is less than 10 degrees

  • Professor Evelyn N. Wang (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Professor Reza Ghodssi (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland)
  • Professor James N. Culver (Center for Biosystems Research, University of Maryland)
  • Dr. Matthew McCarthy (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Dr. Ryan Enright (Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT)
  • Konstantinos Gerasopoulos (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Maryland)

Intellectual Property:

U.S. Patent Application Number 13/582260, filed on November 21, 2012

PCT Patent Application Number PCT/US2011/027321, filed on March 4, 2011


MIT News Office Report (03/29/2010)

Last revised: April 29, 2013

>>List of MIT Energy IP<<