What are the goals of this project?
Teflon (aka PTFE)-coated pans comprise a majority of the cookware market and are well-known for their non-stick functionality for cooking. However, the chemicals embedded within the coating may pose a health risk at high temperatures, especially those achieved during certain cooking conditions. Many consumers depend on stainless steel cookware because of its reputation for the healthiest, non-reactive type of cookware you can find. However, it lacks the non-stick attributes of Teflon-based cookware. This is where Omnioff comes in. We aim to develop a stainless steel pan that exhibits those non-stick features and continues to offer its inherent toxic-free cooking.
Why is this research important?
We decided to take on this endeavor as we envisioned the spectrum of potential commercial applications for non-stick, metal-based products. Using a combination of microfabrication and electrodeposition techniques, we have generated such reentrant microstructures using only metal materials through our patent-pending process. Below is an SEM image taken of our first iterations of copper structures electrodeposited on a gold substrate.
How will the funds be used?
Your support will be crucial for subsidizing the expensive fees for the required equipment and materials in the Microfab research facility on UW campus. There are numerous variables to optimize the surface properties. This has not been possible for us working part-time on a shoe-string budget, because the optimization process requires many iterations. With your support we can offer everyone from moms and dads to professional chefs a safer alternative to non-stick cooking in just a few years.