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Robust Si-Based Membranes for Fluid Control in Microbatteries Using Superlyophobic Nanostructures

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2 Author(s)
Lifton, V.A. ; mPhase Technol., Inc., Little Falls, NJ, USA ; Simon, S.

Mechanically robust superhydrophobic Si-based membranes are described. The membranes are prepared using microelectromechanical-systems-type processing and implement “nanonail” design features that enable superlyophobic (also called omniphobic, superolephobic) behavior. A variety of low- and high-surface-tension liquids are repelled by such porous membranes without liquid penetrating into the pores of the membrane. Electrowetting transitions have been successfully implemented as a way to demonstrate electrically triggered and tunable permeability of the structures. Long-term stability of the hydrophobic coatings based on fluoropolymers has been evaluated using contact angle measurements. Among those, Teflon-based coatings tend to show the best survivability in aqueous and organic electrolytes for periods longer than 200 days of continuous exposure at room temperature and at 60 °C. Such robust membranes are currently used in reserve microbattery technology and microfluidic devices and, potentially, could enable other applications involving fluid separation, fuel cells, and filtration.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )