Multi-Foulant-Resistant Material Design by Matching Coating-Fluid Optical Properties

TOPARLI Ç., Carlson M., Dinh M. A., Yildiz B., Short M. P.

LANGMUIR, vol.36, no.17, pp.4776-4784, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 17
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b03903
  • Journal Name: LANGMUIR
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Compendex, EMBASE, INSPEC, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.4776-4784
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The buildup of corrosion deposits, known as fouling, seriously hinders large-scale energy production. From nuclear power plants to geothermal reservoirs, fouling increases system pressure drops, impedes heat transfer, and accelerates corrosion, leading to derating and early failure. Here, we investigate the collodial interactions between multiple foulants and coated surfaces, with the aim of discovering principles for minimizing the adhesion of foulants to them. We hypothesize that matching the full refractive index spectrum of a coating to its surrounding fluid minimizes the adhesion of all foulants entrained within and that the Lifshitz theory is sufficient to predict which materials will be multi-foulant-resistant. First-principle calculations of Hamaker constants and refractive indices of six foulants on six coatings in water correlate well to direct measurements of adhesion by atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based force spectroscopy. Amorphous 2% fluorine-doped tin oxide, crystalline SiO2, CaF, and Na(3)AIF(6), which all nearly match the refractive index spectrum of water, successfully resisted adhesion of six diverse foulant materials in aqueous AFM measurements. The validation of this design principle may be expanded to design multi-fouling-resistant coatings for any system in which van der Waals forces are the dominant adhesion mechanism.