Strategies for Superliquiphobic/Philic Surfaces
Liquid repellent surfaces can be used for self-cleaning and antifouling from organic and biological contaminants both in air and underwater applications and can reduce fluid drag (Bhushan 2009). As a model surface in living nature for a liquid repellent surface in air, the upper side of the lotus leaf surface repels water (superhydrophobic) and is useful for self-cleaning and low adhesion applications (Barthlott and Neinhuis 1997; Bhushan and Jung 2011). As discussed in Chap. 4, the superhydrophobic properties of the leaf surfaces are achieved due to the presence of a hierarchical structure created by a microstructure formed by papillose epidermal cells covered with three dimensional (3-D) epicuticular hydrophobic wax nanotubules, shown in Fig. 10.1a. The wax layer makes the surface hydrophobic and the hierarchical structure makes the surface superhydrophobic. This structure causes water droplets to roll off the leaf surface and take contaminants with them to keep the leaf clean. The lower side of the lotus leaf does not contain 3-D wax crystals (Neinhuis and Barthlott 1997), and consists of rather flat, tabular, and slightly convex papillae (Koch et al. 2009). Therefore, the bottom surface is hydrophilic, but superoleophobic in water, with a contact angle of 155° with n-hexane oil, Fig. 10.1b (Cheng et al. 2011). The lotus leaf exhibits a so-called “Janus interface” (named for the two-faced Roman god), with superhydrophobicity on the upper side, and superoleophobicity under water on the lower side (Cheng et al. 2011).
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