Oil-Impregnated Hydrocarbon-Based Polymer Films
Rashed, Ziad T.
Boreyko, Jonathan B.
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Porous surfaces impregnated with a liquid lubricant exhibit minimal contact angle hysteresis with immiscible test liquids, rendering them ideal as self-cleaning materials. Rather than roughening a solid substrate, an increasingly popular choice is to use an absorbent polymer as the "porous" material. However, to date the polymer choices have been limited to expensive silicone-based polymers or complex assemblies of polymer multilayers on functionalized surfaces. In this paper, we show that hydrocarbon-based polymer films such as polyethylene can be stably impregnated with chemically compatible vegetable oils, without requiring any surface treatment. These oil-impregnated hydrocarbon-based films exhibit minimal contact angle hysteresis for a wide variety of test products including water, ketchup, and yogurt. Our oil-impregnated films remain slippery even after several weeks of being submerged in ketchup, illustrating their extreme durability. We expect that the simple and cost-effective nature of our slippery hydrocarbon-based films will make them useful for industrial packaging applications.