Inhibition of Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation by Bioinspired Coatings of Polyampholytes

Control of heterogeneous ice nucleation (HIN) on foreign surfaces is of great importance for anti-ice-nucleation material design. In this work, we studied the HIN behaviors on various ion-modified poly­(butylene succinate) (PBS) surfaces via chain-extension reaction. Inspired by antifreeze proteins (AFPs), the PBS-based polyampholytes, containing both negative and positive charge groups on a single chain, show excellent performance of ice nucleation inhibition and freezing delay. Unlike the extremely high price and low availability of AFPs, these PBS-based polyampholytes can be commercially synthesized under mild reaction conditions. Through water freezing tests on a wide range of substrates at different temperatures, these PBS-based polyampholytes have shown application value of tuning ice nucleation via a simple spin-coating method.