Chunlei Guo Awarded a $1.5 Million Gates Foundation Grant for Laser Materials Processing

November 7, 2017

Professor Chunlei Guo of the Institute of Optics has received $1.5 million in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his research developing superhydrophobic (water repellent) surfaces.  Guo and his team use a powerful laser-patterning technique to create an intricate pattern of micro- and nanoscale structures, giving the metals their new properties. As water bounces off the superhydrophobic surfaces, it also collects dust and other particles. One application — of particular interest to the Gates Foundation — is creating latrines that are cleaner and healthier to use in poor nations.  “In the past couple of years, we developed the superhydrophobic surface technology under the support of the Gates project,” Guo said. “With this next phase of funding, we want to bring our technology to real-world applications, especially for sanitation purposes in developing countries.”