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Snail Deterrent Properties of a Soot based Flexible Superhydrophobic Surface
1 , 1 , 2 , * 1
1  Nottingham Trent University, School of Science and Technology, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS UK
2  Northumbria University, Faculty of Engineering & Environment, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK

Abstract: Snails enjoying eating the leaves of many garden plants and deterring this pest without resorting to chemicals can present a significant challenge. A previous report (PLoS ONE 7(5): e36983) suggested that loose soot was a surface to which snails found adhesion difficult. Soot may also be embedded into PDMS substrate making a flexible membrane with superhydrophobic properties (Appl. Phys. Lett. 102 (21) 214104). In this article we investigate if the embedded soot has the same anti-adhesive properties to snails as the loose soot, so giving the possibility of a facile method for protecting crops from this pest. Data is presented showing the force required to remove snails from the soot/PDMS surfaces using a simple spinning technique. The advancing an receding contact angles have also been measured for various concentrations of an anionic surfactant on the soot/PDMS surface and compared to the data presented in the PLoS ONE article. In addition, simple time lapse video demonstrations are presented that show the reluctance of the snails to move over the soot based surfaces suggesting that the soot/PDMS structure does indeed provide a level of deterrence to this garden pest.
Keywords: superhydrophobic; snail; contact angle; anti-adhesive; soot
Comments on this paper
Chuanlai Xu
The spinning technique provide facile method for protecting the crops from pest, the embedded soot can be one of the fascinating choice.