Development and Testing of Hierarchically Wrinkled Coatings for Marine Antifouling

K Efimenko, John Finlay, Maureen Callow, James Callow, J Genzer

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190 Citations (Scopus)


We report on the formation and testing of novel marine coatings comprising hierarchically wrinkled surface topographies (HWTS) having wrinkles of different length scales (generations) ranging from tens of nanometers to a fraction of a millimeter. The individual wrinkle generations are arranged in nested patterns, where each larger wrinkle resides underneath and represents a scaled-up version of the smaller wrinkle. We present and discuss results from field tests in seawater and laboratory experiments. The results of our held tests reveal that while coatings with Hat topographies foul after relatively short time periods (4-15 weeks), the HWST coatings with the same chemistries as flat coatings remain relatively free of biofouling even after prolonged exposure to seawater (18 months). In contrast to flat coatings, the HWST substrates are not colonized by barnacles. These observations suggest that surface topography plays a dominant role in governing the coating defense against barnacle fouling even without fine-tuning the chemical composition of the overcoat. Laboratory experiments indicate that settlement of zoospores of the green alga Ulva and the strength of attachment of sporelings (young plants) depend on the chemical composition of the coating as well as surface topography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1040
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2009


  • marine fouling
  • barnacle settlement
  • topographically corrugated substrate
  • buckling
  • Ulva settlement
  • wrinkling


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