Bio-inspired strategies for anti-icing

ACS Nano. 2014 Apr 22;8(4):3152-69. doi: 10.1021/nn406522n. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


Undesired ice accumulation leads to severe economic issues and, in some cases, loss of lives. Although research on anti-icing has been carried out for decades, environmentally harmless, economical, and efficient strategies for anti-icing remain to be developed. Recent researches have provided new insights into the icing phenomenon and shed light on some promising bio-inspired anti-icing strategies. The present review critically categorizes and discusses recent developments. Effectively trapping air in surface textures of superhydrophobic surfaces weakens the interaction of the surfaces with liquid water, which enables timely removal of impacting and condensed water droplets before freezing occurs. When ice already forms, ice adhesion can be significantly reduced if liquid is trapped in surface textures as a lubricating layer. As such, ice could be shed off by an action of wind or its gravity. In addition, bio-inspired anti-icing strategies via trapping or introducing other media, such as phase change materials and antifreeze proteins, are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adhesiveness
  • Biomimetics / methods*
  • Ice* / analysis
  • Surface Properties


  • Ice