Questions About Nanocoatings Answered

Jan 2023
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Step into the fascinating world of surface protection, a vital component of the cutting-edge field of nanotechnology. Discover how a wide range of industries can leverage this technology to their advantage and achieve greater profitability. Here the most frequently questions we get asked with our easy-to-understand answers. More FAQs here.

Lotus Nano: Leading independent nanotech and nanocoating consulting in India.


Nano Nanotechnology Hydrophobic Hydrophilic Oleophobic Omniphobic

Why protect Surfaces with Nanotech? Applications of Nanocoatings? What Surfaces can be Nano-Coated? Why can Nanocoatings fail? How are Nanocoatings applied? Can Nanocoatings Improve Other Coatings? Industries Utilising Nanocoatings?

Let's Define



origin latin for: "dwarf"
One billionth of a stated unit.
Here: E.g.: 0.000,000,001 of a meter.
The tern “Nano” is a prefix that denotes "one billionth" or 10^-9. It is commonly used in scientific contexts to describe extremely small sizes or quantities, such as in the fields of nanotechnology or nano-science.

Let’s put the nanometer scale a little into perspective:


Regarded as a leap in technology, nanotechnology, or nanotech, involves engineering and manipulation of materials at a granular level – atomic and molecular (1-100 nanometers). Proposed first by Richard Feynman in 1959, nanotech's potential was foreseen early. Instruments like the scanning tunnelling microscope (1981) and the atomic force microscope (1986) allowed scientists to manipulate individual atoms and molecules, laying the groundwork for modern nanotechnology.

Today, nanotech's pivotal achievements span creating innovative materials with distinct electrical, magnetic, and optical characteristics, evolving novel medical diagnostics and treatments, and fabricating devices for better energy production and storage. With a promising outlook, it has the potential to revolutionise industries such as medicine, electronics, energy, and materials science.

The Expanding Scope of Nanotechnology

Groundbreaking applications and areas of research continue to shape nanotech's landscape. A glance at specific applications:

The robust applications of nanotechnology are poised to bring exponential advancements across sectors. Nanocoating, btw., as a sector of nanotechnology, has been widely adopted by various industries to enhance efficiency, durability, and performance of their products or infrastructure.

Define Hydrophobic

Hydrophobic / Hydrophobicity

latin: "fear of water"
The term “Hydrophobic” refers to a property of a surface that repels water. Hydrophobic surfaces lack the affinity for water, and tending to repel or not to absorb water. Nature example: The Lotus Effect, the wings of many insects, and the feathers of many birds.
Certain nanoparticles (NPs) can manipulate surfaces so that water (or any liquid) simply runs off or can be easily wiped away. This phenomenon has many applications, such as coating windows, glass facades, vehicles, car seats, textiles, solar panels, and thousands more. When a hydrophobic substance is applied to a surface, an invisible layer develops that adheres to the surface on a molecular level and can last for a very long time.
Hydrophobic layers have a strong self-cleaning effect on plastics, heat pipes, metals, textiles, glass, paints, and electronics. They also improve the anti-freezing behaviour of heat pipes, preventing unwanted build-up, and function as a water and dust-protecting coat on electronics.

This property has huge potential for products in a large variety of industry sectors, such as water treatment, heat transfer applications, biomedical devices, and many others.

An extreme version of hydrophobicity is called super-hydrophobicity, where the effect is further amplified.

Additional Benefits of Hydrophobic Surfaces:

Define Hydrophilic

Hydrophilic / Hydrophilicity

latin: "love for water"
The term “Hydrophilic” refers to having a strong affinity for / attraction to water. Something that is hydrophilic is soluble in water and dissolves into water very easily. Hydrophilic is the opposite of hydrophobic.
A hydrophilic coating increases the wetting on a surface. In applications like "anti-fog", it is often desirable to a have a uniform sheet of liquid. Hydrophilic coatings readily spread water around the object when exposed to moisture, thus enhancing its lubricity and significantly reducing surface friction.

Hydrophilic coatings act like microscopic sponges, gripping the water (or other liquid) to provide low frictional characteristics as long as the surface remains wet. These types of coatings are most notably used in the medical industry for coating medical devices and specifically, surgical tools.

Because these tools regularly come into contact with skin and bodily fluids, minimal friction is crucial. Surfaces coated with hydrophilic coatings exhibit low pulling forces and are able to navigate anatomical pathways while lessening patient discomfort.
The hydrophilic concept is used in many industries. For example, hydrophilic membrane filtration is used in several industries to filter various substances such as Bacteria, Viruses, Particulates, Drugs, Contaminates.

Hydrophilic coatings are particularly effective in environments of excessive condensation (visors, mirrors, goggles as the most well-known examples) to major industrial applications, for example, to protect exchangers from the corrosive effect of water.

A hydrophilic coating also exhibits a fine performance in providing protection against water in high temperature and salty environments. An extreme version of "hydrophilic" is called super-hydrophilic, where the effect is further amplified.


Hydrophilic applications are diverse, and have a major impact in many industrial and scientific areas. They have a wide range of uses and can be beneficial in a number of different ways, depending on the specific application.

Define Oleophobic

Oleophobic / Oleophobicity

\ olioˈfō-bik\
latin: "fear of oil/fat"
The term “Oleophobic” refers to a substance or surface that has a low affinity for oils and is resistant to oil adhesion or absorption.
Oleophobic materials have a smooth, non-stick surface that repels oil and other liquids. They are commonly used in a wide variety of applications where oil-resistance is important, such as consumer electronics, kitchen appliances, and medical devices.

In general, Oleophobic nanocoatings are used on surface treatment of metals, ceramics, plastics, and other materials to make them oil-friendly. They act as a barrier against oil and chemicals, protecting the surface from corrosion, and other types of damage
Oleophobic coatings have a wide range of uses, and they can have a significant impact in many industrial and scientific areas. They can be beneficial in a number of different ways, depending on the specific application.


Explain "Omniphobic"

Omniphobic / Omniphobicity

\ omniˈfō-bik\
latin: "fear of everything"
The term "omniphobic" refers to a surface that repels most liquids and other materials. Such surfaces are typically characterised by a high degree of micro- or nano-scale roughness, which creates a lot of air pockets. These air pockets make it difficult for liquids or other materials to adhere to the surface.

Omniphobic surfaces have a number of unique properties, including:

Nanotech can, for example, repel water in oil as well as oil in water.
Above properties make omniphobic surfaces ideal for applications where liquids or other materials need to be repelled, such as in anti-fouling coatings, self-cleaning surfaces, water treatment, and medical devices.

It's also worth noting that some Omniphobic surfaces can also have special properties such as UV resistance, Chemical resistance, high temperature resistance and even anti-bacterial properties, depending on the coating materials and the process of creating the surface.


Why protect
Surfaces with

Nanotechnology's application for surface protection presents numerous advantages. It enables highly effective, durable coatings providing properties such as water and oil repellency, scratch resistance, anti-corrosion, and, importantly, self-cleaning capabilities. With these coatings, surfaces not only meet performance standards but do so in a thin, lightweight manner, crucial in industries such as aerospace and automotive.

Notable Benefits of Nano-coatings

Given the extensive applicability and conveniences, nano-coatings are an increasingly popular choice for surface protection across industries.

Applications of

Nanocoatings are incredibly versatile with diverse applications in various fields. They serve as protective barriers, functionalising surfaces, and enhancing their characteristics. Here are key applications. Here a few examples to illustrate the bandwidth of possibilities in no particular order:

Marine Applications

Architectural Applications

Automotive and Transportation Applications

Medical Applications

Electronics and Optics Applications

Manufacturing and Industrial Applications

What Surfaces
can be

A wide range of materials can be nano coated, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Some common examples include:
It's important to keep in mind that not all materials can be nano-coated, or the properties of the materials may not benefit from a nanocoating. Find out in the next section why nanocoatings may not be able to protect a substrate as desired - and simply fail.

Potential Reasons
for Nanocoating

Nanocoating effectiveness can sometimes be compromised. Here are common reasons causing such failures:

Improper Preparation and Application

Environmental and Durability Factors

Material and Coating Compatibility

Can Nanocoatings
Improve Other Coatings

Indeed, introducing nanocoatings to other standard coatings can provide several key advantages. We've compiled a few common ones:

Enhancement in Everyday Realities

Economic and Environmental Factors

Improving Efficiency and Performance

Enhancement of Coating Features

Advancements in Adhesion and Protection

Amplified Properties

Efficiency and Performance

Material Characteristics

Adhesion and Protection

How are

The most common application techniques used today. Available with or through Lotus Nano:
Industrial Spin Coating example.

There are some more application techniques such as Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), electroless plating, electrostatic spraying, thermal spraying, electroplating, chemical vapour infiltration (CVI), etc.
All of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages. The choice of method will depend on the specific desired properties of the coating.


Nanocoatings offer significant benefits to various industries as they enhance performance, longevity, and safety of materials and appliances. Here are some key sectors applying nanocoating technology. Ask Lotus Nano for any assistance.

This is a glimpse into the diverse applications of nanocoatings in the modern industrial landscape.