Self-Assembled Fatty Acid Crystalline Coatings Display Non-Toxic Superhydrophobic Antimicrobial Properties

Elena Prudnikov, Iryna Polishchuk, Andy Sand, Hanan Abu Hamad, Naama Massad-Ivanir, Ester Segal, Boaz Pokroy

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Superhydrophobcity is a well-known wetting phenomenon found in numerous plants and insects. It is achieved by the combination of the surfaces chemical properties and its surface roughness. Inspired by nature, numerous synthetic superhydrophobic surfaces have been developed for various applications. Designated surface coating is one of the fabrication routes to achieve the superhydrophobicity. Yet, many of these coatings, such as fluorine-based formulations, may pose severe health and environmental risks, limiting the applicability. Herein, we present a new family of superhydrophobic coatings comprised of natural saturated fatty acids, which are not only a part of our daily diet, but can be produced from renewable feedstock, providing a safe and sustainable alternative to existing state-of-the-art. These crystalline coatings are readily fabricated via single-step deposition routes, thermal deposition or spray-coating. The fatty acids self-assemble into highly hierarchical crystalline structures exhibiting a water contact angle of about 165 degrees and contact angle hysteresis lower than 6 degrees, while their properties and morphology depend on the specific fatty acid used as well as on the deposition technique. Moreover, the fatty acid coatings demonstrate excellent thermal stability. Importantly these new family of coatings displays excellent anti-biofouling and antimicrobial properties against Escherichia coli and Listeria innocua, used as relevant model Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. We believe that these coatings have a great application potential in the fields, where other alternatives are prohibited due to safety limitations, while at the same time their usage in other regulation-free applications is not limited.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
StatePublished - 10 Aug 2022


  • cond-mat.soft

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