Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Partnerships and Technology Transfer

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ORNL Superhydrophobic (SH) Thin Film Symposium

Hosted by Oak Ridge Laboratory’s Partnerships Directorate and focusing on the recent LDRD Launch project work completed by Dr. Tolga Aytug and Dr. John T. Simpson (ORNL research PI’s).


To share the ORNL SH thin Film technology to prospective commercial partners.

Date and Time

The conference will be held on the morning of Wednesday September 5th at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) by Partnerships and Technology Transfer, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. Private meetings with companies can be scheduled the afternoon of the 4th and 5th, or the morning of the 6th.

  • Please register for the event using the “Registration” tab.
  • The developing agenda will be posted on the “Symposium” tab.

Technology Overview

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a new method for forming rugged optically transparent superhydrophobic (SH) thin-film coatings. This surface treatment offers high optical transparency, mechanical durability, and other enhanced properties using controllable processes.  A white paper, marketing material and other information will be posted on the “Materials” tab.

Some basic properties and performance levels attained on fused silica platforms are outlined below.

  • Superhydrophobicity
  • Droplet contact angle > 170°
  • Roll off angle < 10°
  • Optical transparency (> 95%) over a broad range
  • Anti-reflectance
  • High density and uniformity
  • Durability (including scratch and crack resistance)
  • Reduces transmittance in UV-regime
  • Transmittance: 93% (600 nm), 94% (2000 nm)
  • Broadband and omnidirectional
  • Can be quickly adopted
  • Can be engineered to perform as a graded index coating

Previous accomplishments related to this project

  1. Superhydrophobic Nanopost Glass (Seed project 2004). This project was our first superhydrophobic funded project and directly led to all the other superhydrophobic projects.
  2. Nanostructured Superhydrophobic Materials (LDRD project 2005-2006). This LDRD expanded our superhydrophobic research into both superhydrophobic powders and a series of classified
    superhydrophobic materials for DARPA funded projects.
  3. Drawn Field Emitters, Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotubes, and Related Nanostructures (LDRD
    project 2008). With this project, we have demonstrated that fiber drawing can be used to align and disperse carbon nanotubes.

Information about the inventors

  • Dr. Tolga Aytug

    Dr. Tolga Aytug

    Dr. Tolga Aytug is a research staff member of the Chemical Sciences Division at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, at The University of Tennessee. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. Aytug has extensive experience in the synthesis and development of advanced thin film materials using physical and chemical vapor deposition, and chemical solution approaches, coupled with advanced material properties characterization.

  • Dr. John Simpson

    Dr. John Simpson

    Dr. John Simpson received a PhD in Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona.  A former IBM researcher, Dr. Simpson has been with ORNL for nearly ten years, and has been the primary inventor of the broad and deep ORNL superhydrophobic materials IP portfolio.  His current research is focused on nano-fabrication over large areas with applications to metamaterials, superhydrophobic structures, photonic crystal fibers, and various other technology areas.  

Travel and Lodging

Visiting ORNL - http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/visiting.shtml