Engineering surface textures that are highly transparent and repel water, oil, and other low surface energy fluids can transform our interaction with wet environments. Despite extensive progress, current top-down methods are based on directional line-of-sight fabrication mechanisms that are limited by scale and cannot be applied to highly uneven, curved, and enclosed surfaces, while bottom-up techniques often suffer from poor optical transparency. Here, we present an approach that enables the rapid, omnidirectional synthesis of flexible and up to 99.97% transparent superhydrophobic and -oleophobic textures on many variable surface types. These features are obtained by the spontaneous formation of a multi re-entrant morphology during the controlled self-assembly of nanoparticle aerosols. We also develop a mathematical model to explain and control the self-assembly dynamics, providing important insights for the rational engineering of functional materials. We envision that our findings represent a significant advance in imparting superoleophobicity and superamphiphobicity to a so-far inapplicable family of materials and geometries for multifunctional applications.
- omnidirectional scalable self-assembly
- re-entrant textures
- superoleophobic and superamphiphobic
- ultra-transparent and flexible