Anti-Icing Surfaces

Group leader


Madeleine Schwarzer (PhD student)
Thomas Otto (Masterstudent)

The future development towards a sustainable society requires the development and use of environmentally-friendly renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy, and design of tunable and robust multifunctional coatings with reduced icing. In spite of considerable progress in this field, a big problem, limiting their everyday use, is the icing of rotor blades in the wind turbines. Icing is also a major problem in other technologies such as transport (aircrafts, cars), and energy supply (high-voltage power lines, air conditioning), where it causes increased energy consumption and failure.

The most favorable solution of this problem is the design of passive polymeric or polymeric/hybrid anti-icing coatings, i.e. coatings which prevent icing and do not require power consumption. Such surfaces are typically based on reduction of the ice adhesion strength, or inhibition of the ice growth.

A deep understanding the mechanisms of icing and deicing might ultimately lead to the improvement of main design principles of effective functional anti-icing coatings. Our systematic investigation and thorough discussion of the effect of surface geometry and chemical properties on the formation of an ice layer, its properties and thawing on flat and geometrically structured surfaces based on core-shell particles with varied design, gives a deeper insight into icing/deicing problematic.

Schemes and representative illustrations of different kinds of structured surface morphologies prepared using core-shell colloids