Nature-Inspired Regenerative Fine-Dust-Catching Coatings to Improve Air Quality

Zimmermann T, Deues M, Garbe T, Löbmann P, Mandel K, Wintzheimer S (2024)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


DOI: 10.1021/acsami.3c19074


Increased particulate matter (PM) concentrations in our ambient air are the cause of various life-threatening diseases and consequently need to be reduced to nonhazardous levels. The natural PM removal capabilities of leaves inspired the development of a low-cost coating technology that exploits natural weather phenomena for its PM catching and removal processes. The herein presented coating is based on microparticle-filled silicone with optimized chemical and physical surface properties. Its surface roughness was tuned using differently sized spray-dried particles, and its surface contact angle was adjusted through silicone tensides, polar ether groups incorporated in the silicon backbone, and the used amount of spray-dried particles. In such a way, optimized silicone coatings showed in laboratory experiments improved catching abilities (>300% relative to glass surfaces), a full retention of adsorbed PM during wind events, and the formation of large PM aggregates. Upon (simulated) rain events, these coatings were regenerated, and the content of harmful PM of various sizes dispersed in water was reduced between ∼73 and 100%. Furthermore, an outdoor test over 100 days showed the functioning of the coating under real-world conditions. These regenerative coatings are readily applicable on diverse surfaces and do not require any further technical infrastructure. Thus, they present an extension of the toolbox for PM reduction technologies.

Authors with CRIS profile

Involved external institutions

How to cite


Zimmermann, T., Deues, M., Garbe, T., Löbmann, P., Mandel, K., & Wintzheimer, S. (2024). Nature-Inspired Regenerative Fine-Dust-Catching Coatings to Improve Air Quality. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.


Zimmermann, Thomas, et al. "Nature-Inspired Regenerative Fine-Dust-Catching Coatings to Improve Air Quality." ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (2024).

BibTeX: Download