Surface Particle Contamination Mitigation Methods

Center: Langley Research Center

Category: Materials and Coatings

Patent: 8,987,632

Inventor: Christopher J. Wohl


NASA Technology Page

Invention Overview:

Surface modifications are made to different materials either chemically or by manual abrasion. These modifications aid in altering the adherence of the material, creating surfaces that resist water (window panes), dust (solar panels), and organic growth (ship hulls). Chemical techniques require large amounts of toxic materials, while abrasive techniques are often inconsistent due to personnel error or debris. This technology uses a chemical film coating that is much less toxic and a laser surface patterning technique that is much more precise and controlled. They can be used in conjunction



System/subsystem model or prototyping demonstration in a relevant end-to-end environment (ground or space).  Prototyping implementations on full-scale realistic problems. Partially integrated with existing systems. Limited documentation available. Engineering feasibility fully demonstrated in actual system application



Self-cleaning surfaces: Automotive, Solar Cells, Naval, Construction – glass buildings Corrosion and stain resistance: Biomedical devices, Microfluidics



  • Extremely versatile and scalable to different surfaces
  • Can be used to make the same surface more Hydrophilic or more Hydrophobic
  • More precisely controlled to create surface features and properties
  • Less toxic

Invention Disadvantages and Possible Mitigation:

Competition exists in self-cleaning - must improve scalability


Potential Technology Bundling:

Proposed bundling with LAR-TOPS-183: Chemical and Topographical Surface Modifications for Insect Adhesion Mitigation