Self-deicing Electrolyte Hydrogel Surfaces with Pa-level Ice Adhesion and Durable Anti-freezing/frost Performance
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Despite the remarkable advances in mitigating ice formation and accretion, however, no engineered anti-icing surfaces today can durably prevent frost formation, droplet freezing and ice accretion in an economical and eco-friendly way. Herein, sustainable and low-cost electrolyte hydrogel (EH) surfaces are developed by infusing salted water into the hydrogel matrix for avoiding icing. The EH surfaces can both prevent ice/frost formation for an extremely long time and reduce ice adhesion strength to ultralow value (Pa-level) at a tunable temperature window down to -48.4 oC. Furthermore, ice can self-removes from the tilted EH surface within 10 s at -10 oC by self-gravity. As demonstrated by both molecular dynamics simulations and experiments, these extreme performances are attributed to the diffusion of ions to the interface between EH and ice. The sustainable anti-icing properties of EH can be maintained by replenishing in real-time with available ion sources, indicating the promising applications in offshore platforms and ships.