Hydrophilic Slippery Surface Promotes Efficient Defrosting

Siyan Yang, Wanbo Li, Yajie Song, Yushan Ying, Rongfu Wen, Bingang Du, Yuankai Jin, Zuankai Wang, Xuehu Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Frost accretion occurs ubiquitously in various industrial applications and causes tremendous energy and economic loss, as manifested by the Texas power crisis that impacted millions of people over a vast area in 2021. To date, extensive efforts have been made on frost removal by micro-engineering surfaces with superhydrophobicity or lubricity. On such surfaces, air or oil cushions are introduced to suspend the frost layer and promote the rapid frost sliding off, which, although promising, faces the instability of the cushions under extreme frosting conditions. Most existing hydrophilic surfaces, characterized by large interfacial adhesion, have long been deemed unfavorable for frost shedding. Here, we demonstrated that a hydrophilic and slippery surface can achieve efficient defrosting. On such a surface, the hydrophilicity gave rise to a highly interconnected basal frost layer that boosted the substrate-to-frost heat transfer; then, the resulting melted frost readily slid off the surface due to the superb slipperiness. Notably, on our surface, the retained meltwater coverage after frost sliding off was only 2%. In comparison to two control surfaces, for example, surfaces lacking either hydrophilicity or slipperiness, the defrosting efficiency was 13 and 19 times higher and the energy consumption was 2.3 and 6.2 times lower, respectively. Our study highlights the use of a hydrophilic surface for the pronounced defrosting in a broad range of industrial applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11931-11938
Number of pages8
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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