Anti-icing properties of femtosecond laser-induced nano and multiscale topographies

Anvesh Gaddam, Himani Sharma, Themistoklis Karkantonis, Stefan Dimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
129 Downloads (Pure)


Surfaces covered with micro, nano and multiscale topographies are the subject of significant interest due to their ice-repellency properties in the last decade. Ultrafast laser processing is becoming a widely used clean manufacturing technique to fabricate ordered nano and multiscale topographies on metallic surfaces over relatively large areas. In this work, single-tier nano and two-tier multiscale topographies were fabricated on stainless steel surfaces with one-step femtosecond laser processing to impart anti-icing response. Droplet freezing and frost formation on laser treated surfaces were examined at −10 °C and compared with the lubricant-impregnated and superhydrophobic nanoparticle-coated ones. While the hydrophilic nanoscale topography has accelerated the droplet freezing and performed worse than untreated surfaces, their hydrophobic counterparts increased the time to freezing by nearly two times. Overall, the superhydrophobic two-tier multiscale topography has significantly delayed both the droplet freezing time and frost formation on surfaces. Furthermore, the two-tier multiscale topography has sustained its anti-icing response even after being subjected to 25 abrasion cycles, while the surfaces with only nanoscale topography and nanoparticle-coating lost their functionality in only 10 cycles. Therefore, such robust two-tier multiscale topographies devoid of any coatings can enable and underpin many industrial applications where ice accumulation on surfaces results in performance degradation, e.g. in aerospace, refrigeration, air-conditioning and energy applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149443
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Surface Science
Early online date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research work is conducted within the framework of European Commission H2020 project ‘High-impact injection moulding platform for mass-production of 3D and/or large micro- structured surfaces with antimicrobial, self-cleaning, anti-scratch, anti-squeak and aesthetic functionalities” (HIMALAIA) and the UKIERI-DST programme on ‘Surface functionalisation for food, packaging, and healthcare applications’. The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by the EPSRC National Facility for X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy at the Harwell Campus, UK, for conducting the XPS analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Anti-icing
  • Femtosecond laser
  • Frost
  • Stainless steel
  • Superhydrophobic
  • Textured surfaces
  • XPS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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