At Research and Innovative Solutions, we also specialize in another branch of Nanotechnology: self-cleaning surfaces, coatings and related phenomena, such as wetting and adhesion. We are inspired by the materials and structures created in nature and the phenomena they display. A few examples include: the super water repellency exhibited by plants, insects and waterfowls, the vivid color in the wing of butterfly, the ultra high adhesion in the gecko's feet, and the super strength in the spider silk. We have hands on design experience and know-how to create micro, nanostructured surfaces and coatings that are superhydrophobic, superoleophobic, superhydrophilic or superoleophilic. In 2009, Dr. Law first reported in Nanotech 2009 the creation of a superoleophobic surface. The research was immediately profiled in the Nano World News in May 2009 (www.nsti.org/news/item.html?id=333), and the work now appears in Langmuir [2011, 27, 5927-5935].
Also in 2009, the super repellent property of the surface against toner and ink was reported in the NIP25 and Digital Fabrication 2009 Conference and the full paper is now appeared in ACS Appl. Mater. Interface [2012, 4, 4288-4295]. Since the creation of the superolephobic surface, Dr. Law's team has been studying the design space and latitude to make a robust superoleophobic surface as well as the manufacturing process(es). In 2012, Dr. Law spoke about the design of an abrasion resistant, robust superoleophobic surface at the Nanotech 2012 Conference in June in Santa Clara, CA. He also delivered a keynote lecture on a similar topic at the Bio-inspired Surface Conference in Nice, France October 2012. This work is now documented as a full scientific paper in Langmuir [2012, 28, 14925-14934]. Also in 2012, Dr. Law and Dr. Hong Zhao (Xerox) reported the development of a mechanically robust, directional self-cleaning superoleophobic surface in Langmuir [2012, 28, 11812-11818]. To date, his work on superoleophobicity was summarized in two authoritative reviews "Superoleophobic Surfaces. Surface Properties, Fabrication Methods, and Potential Applications" in The Dekker Encyclopedia of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (S. Lyshevski ed.), 3rd Edition, CRC Press, 2014, 4757-4771); and "Design Principles for Robust Superoleophobicity and Superhydrophobicity" in a new book "Non-wettable Surfaces" edited by Professors A. Marmur and R. Ras. Dr. Law continues to be active in the NSTI Nanotech Conferences. He continues to organize and chair the Structured Coatings, Surfaces, and Membranes Symposium at the Nanotech Conference. Nanotech2016 will be held in Washington DC from May 22-25, 2016. In addition, he also offers a 1-day short course on "Structured surfaces and coatings. Characterization, Industrial Applications and Challenges" on May 22, 2016 to share his learning, experience and thoughts in this area.
One of the hallmarks of Dr. Law's research is its fundamental understanding. He has been studying wetting, adhesion, and the related dynamic behaviors of liquid on various surfaces. His latest work involves revisiting the definitions for hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity and superhydrophobicity, which was published in Pure and Applied Chemistry (2015, 87, 759-765), and the understanding of ink-surface interaction and its consequence to digital printing and printed electronics manufacturing. The latter was published in two Langmuir papers [2013, 29, 10665-10673; 2014, 30, 7358-7368]. The project learning was summarized and organized into another 1-day short course entitled "Surface Ink Interactions and Surface Characterization" which was first offered February 2014 in Las Vegas at an IMI Inkjet Conference and Tradeshow. The course material was condensed into a 2-hour class offering at NIP30 in Philadelphia September 2014 and NIP31 in Portland September 2015. More recently, in collaboration with Dr. H. Zhao, Dr. Law was able to summarize his surface fundamental work in a new book just published by Springer. The title of the book is "Surface Wetting. Characterization, Contact Angle, and Fundamentals".
Through fundamental understanding, Dr. Law was able to translate physical properties to design parameters to product performance to custom values. As a result, he became a co-inventor of a class of self-cleaning polymer coatings for inkjet printhead, where the self-cleaning function was achieved without the need of having a super high contact angle. This invention is being implemented at Xerox and also created a lot of intellectual property values.
At Research and Innovative Solutions, we have the design know-how and experience to develop micro, nanostructured surfaces for different applications. We are also familiar with the innovation and implementation processes. We strive to be an enabler to introduce these amazing bio-inspired surfaces and coatings to the marketplace.