For most people, being the last speaker of the last session on the last day of a conference is the kiss of death. Not so for Delwyn Evans, Principal Chemist at P2i, a UK-based company that has developed a thin-film coating technology. Not only is he a lively and engaging speaker who bravely departs from the PowerPoint text, but he brings props! Attendees of the BIOMEDevice conference, which was held in the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris on 23 and 24 February, were grateful.
To demonstrate the hydrophobic properties of the technology, Evans brought out two paper tissues, one of which was treated with a thin-film coating. He stuffed both of them in a glass of water before theatrically throwing them on the floor of the stage. As you might expect, the virgin tissue landed with a slosh in a wet pile. By contrast, the water rolled off the treated paper like the proverbial droplets off a duck’s back and the tissue landed gently on the floor. Thankful for the divertissement (which was not without educational value), the attendees felt compelled to applaud.
So what have we learned? One could explain it this way: P2i has developed a liquid-repellent material that can be applied in extremely thin films by means of low-pressure pulsed plasma deposition technology. The technique enables finished products, complex geometries and electronics to be uniformly coated. It optimises surface properties to maximise liquid repellency, protect items from liquid ingress and reduce the potential for cross-contamination.
Or you could dunk a couple of tissues in a glass of water and slap them on the floor.
Third option—and I highly recommend it—is to go to the P2i website and learn more about this technology.Norbert Sparrow