A Built-In Mechanism Of Gas Maintenance In Microfeatures On A Submerged Surface

Tech ID: 30259 / UC Case 2015-021-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel superhydrophobic surface for drag reduction and anti-biofouling applications.


Superhydrophobic surfaces have unusual ability to repel water and may have utilities for applications including hydrodynamic drag reduction, de-icing, anti-corrosion, and anti-biofouling.  For underwater applications, these surfaces must maintain their superhydrophobicity while submerged in a liquid.  However, most superhydrophobic surfaces cannot retain the gas layer that makes them superhydrophobic under water in realistic conditions.  Several approaches have increased the stability of the gas layer, but most of them are only preventive measures and are ineffective once the gas layer is disrupted.


UCLA researchers led by Professor Chang-Jin Kim have developed a novel superhydrophobic surface using a microstructured surface with a built-in mechanism to generate and maintain gases on the surface in submerged environments.  This innovative technology does not require an external power source to generate the gas and can be utilized to reduce drag on boats, increase flows through pipes, or prevent biofouling on surfaces.


  • Superhydrophobic surfaces
  • Anti-biofouling coatings
  • Water repellent and de-icing
  • Drag reduction for boats
  • Pipes or channels
  • Anti-corrosion coatings


  • Generates and maintains gas on superhydrophobic surface
  • Works in submerged environments
  • Does not require an external power source

State Of Development

Superhydrophobic surfaces have been fabricated and proven.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20180320717 11/08/2018 2015-021
Japan Published Application 2017-532207 11/02/2017 2015-021
European Patent Office Published Application 3169624 05/24/2017 2015-021

Additional Patents Pending


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  • Kim, Chang-Jin

Other Information


superhydrophobic, superhydrophobic surfaces, microstructures, hydrophobic, anti-fouling coatings, anti-biofouling, submerged environments, microfluidic channel coating, water repellent, drag reduction, metal protection

Categorized As