Controlling liquid splash on superhydrophobic surfaces by a vesicle surfactant.
ABSTRACT: Deposition of liquid droplets on solid surfaces is of great importance to many fundamental scientific principles and technological applications, such as spraying, coating, and printing. For example, during the process of pesticide spraying, more than 50% of agrochemicals are lost because of the undesired bouncing and splashing behaviors on hydrophobic or superhydrophobic leaves. We show that this kind of splashing on superhydrophobic surfaces can be greatly inhibited by adding a small amount of a vesicular surfactant, Aerosol OT. Rather than reducing splashing by increasing the viscosity via polymer additives, the vesicular surfactant confines the motion of liquid with the help of wettability transition and thus inhibits the splash. Significantly, the vesicular surfactant exhibits a distinguished ability to alter the surface wettability during the first inertial spreading stage of ~2 ms because of its dense aggregates at the air/water interface. A comprehensive model proposed by this idea could help in understanding the complex interfacial interactions at the solid/liquid/air interface.
Project description:Whether a droplet splashes upon impact onto a solid is known to depend not only on the fluid properties and its speed, but also on the substrate characteristics. Past research has shown that splashing is heavily influenced by the substrate roughness. Indeed, in this manuscript, we demonstrate that splashing is ruled by the surface roughness, the splashing ratio, and the dynamic contact angle. Experiments consist of water and ethanol droplets impacting onto solid substrates with varying degrees of roughness. High speed imaging is used to extract the dynamic contact angle as a function of the spreading speed for these impacting droplets. During the spreading phase, the dynamic contact angle achieves an asymptotic maximum value, which depends on the substrate roughness and the liquid properties. We found that this maximum dynamic contact angle, together with the liquid properties, the ratio of the peak to peak roughness and the surface feature mean width, determines the splashing to no-splashing threshold. In addition, these parameters consistently differentiate the splashing behaviour of impacts onto smooth hydrophilic, hydrophobic and superhydrophobic surfaces.
Project description:In this paper, the reversible switching between underwater (super-) aerophilicity and superaerophobicity was achieved on various femtosecond (fs) laser-induced superhydrophobic surfaces. A range of materials including Al, stainless steel, Cu, Ni, Si, poly(tetrafluoroethylene), and polydimethylsiloxane were first transformed to superhydrophobic after the formation of surface microstructures through fs laser treatment. These surfaces showed (super-) aerophilicity when immersed in water. In contrast, if the surface was prewetted with ethanol and then dipped into water, the surfaces showed superaerophobicity in water. The underwater aerophilicity of the superhydrophobic substrates could easily recover by drying. The switching between the underwater aerophilicity and superaerophobicity can be fast repeated many cycles and is substrate-independent in stark contrast to common wettability-switchable surfaces based on stimuli-responsive chemistry. Therefore, the as-prepared superhydrophobic surfaces can capture or repel air bubbles in water by selectively switching between underwater superaerophobicity and aerophilicity. Finally, we demonstrated that the underwater bubbles could pass through an underwater aerophilic porous sheet but were intercepted by an underwater superaerophobic porous sheet. The selective passage of the underwater bubbles was achieved by the reversible switching between the underwater aerophilicity and superaerophobicity. We believe that this substrate-independent and fast method of switching air wettability has important applications in controlling air behavior in water.
Project description:Reducing the contact time of a water droplet on non-wetting surfaces has great potential in the areas of self-cleaning and anti-icing, and gradually develops into a hot issue in the field of wettability surfaces. However, the existing literature on dynamic behavior of water drops impacting on superhydrophobic surfaces with various structural shapes is insufficient. Inspired by the microstructure of lotus leaf and rice leaf, dual-level and three-level structures on plane and convex surfaces were successfully fabricated by wire electrical discharge machining on aluminum alloy. After spraying hydrophobic nanoparticles on the surfaces, the plane and convex surfaces with dual-level and three-level structures showed good superhydrophobic property. Bouncing dynamics of impact droplets on the superhydrophobic surfaces wereinvestigated, and the results indicated that the contact time of plane superhydrophobic surface with a three-level structure was minimal, which is 60.4% less than the plane superhydrophobic surface with dual-level structure. The effect of the interval <i>S</i>, width <i>D</i>, and height <i>H</i> of the structure on the plane superhydrophobic surface with three-level structure on contact time was evaluated to obtain the best structural parameters for reducing contact time. This research is believed to guide the direction of the structural design of the droplet impinging on solid surfaces.
Project description:When a fast-moving drop impacts onto a smooth substrate, splashing will be produced at the edge of the expanding liquid sheet. This ubiquitous phenomenon lacks a fundamental understanding. Combining experiment with model, we illustrate that the ultrathin air film trapped under the expanding liquid front triggers splashing. Because this film is thinner than the mean free path of air molecules, the interior airflow transfers momentum with an unusually high velocity comparable to the speed of sound and generates a stress 10 times stronger than the airflow in common situations. Such a large stress initiates Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities at small length scales and effectively produces splashing. Our model agrees quantitatively with experimental verifications and brings a fundamental understanding to the ubiquitous phenomenon of drop splashing on smooth surfaces.
Project description:Underwater superoleophobic surfaces have different applications in fields from oil/water separation to underwater lossless manipulation. This kind of surfaces can be easily transformed from superhydrophilic surfaces in air, which means the stability of superhydrophilicity in air determines the stability of underwater superoleophobicity. However, superhydrophilic surfaces fabricated by some existing methods easily become hydrophobic or superhydrophobic in air with time. Here, a facile method combined with electrochemical etching and boiling water immersion is developed to fabricate long-term underwater superoleophobic surfaces. The surface morphologies and chemical compositions are investigated. The results show that the electrochemically etched and boiling-water immersed Al surfaces have excellent long-term superhydrophilicity in air for over 1 year and boehmite plays an important role in maintaining long-term stability of wettability. Based on the fabricated underwater superoleophobic surfaces, a special method and device were developed to realize the underwater lossless manipulation of immiscible organic liquid droplets with a large volume. The capture and release of liquid droplets were realized by controlling the resultant force of the applied driving pressure, gravity and buoyancy. The research has potential application in research-fields such as the transfer of valuable reagents, accurate control of miniature chemical reactions, droplet-based reactors, and eliminates contamination of manipulator components.
Project description:Understanding wettability and mechanisms of wetting transition are important for design and engineering of superhydrophobic surfaces. There have been numerous studies on the design and fabrication of superhydrophobic and omniphobic surfaces and on the wetting transition mechanisms triggered by liquid evaporation. However, there is a lack of a universal method to examine wetting transition on rough surfaces. Here, we introduce force zones across the droplet base and use a local force balance model to explain wetting transition on engineered nanoporous microstructures, utilizing a critical force per unit length (FPL) value. For the first time, we provide a universal scale using the concept of the critical FPL value which enables comparison of various superhydrophobic surfaces in terms of preventing wetting transition during liquid evaporation. In addition, we establish the concept of contact line-fraction theoretically and experimentally by relating it to area-fraction, which clarifies various arguments about the validity of the Cassie-Baxter equation. We use the contact line-fraction model to explain the droplet contact angles, liquid evaporation modes, and depinning mechanism during liquid evaporation. Finally, we develop a model relating a droplet curvature to conventional beam deflection, providing a framework for engineering pressure stable superhydrophobic surfaces.
Project description:The control of liquid motion on the micrometer scale is important for many liquid transport and biomedical applications. An efficient way to trigger liquid motion is by introducing surface tension gradients on free liquid interfaces leading to the Marangoni effect. However, a pronounced Marangoni-driven flow generally only occurs at a liquid-air or liquid-liquid interface but not at solid-liquid interfaces. Using superhydrophobic surfaces, the liquid phase stays in the Cassie state (where liquid is only in contact with the tips of the rough surface structure and air is enclosed in the indentations of the roughness) and hence provides the necessary liquid-air interface to trigger evident Marangoni flows. We use light to asymmetrically heat this interface and thereby control liquid motion near superhydrophobic surfaces. By laser scanning confocal microscopy, we determine the velocity distribution evolving through optical excitation. We show that Marangoni flow can be induced optically at structured, air-entrapping superhydrophobic surfaces. Furthermore, by comparison with numerical modeling, we demonstrate that in addition to the Marangoni flow, buoyancy-driven flow occurs. This effect has so far been neglected in similar approaches and models of thermocapillary driven flow at superhydrophobic surfaces. Our work yields insight into the physics of Marangoni flow and can help in designing new contactless, light-driven liquid transport systems, e.g., for liquid pumping or in microfluidic devices.
Project description:Inspired by the array microstructure of natural superhydrophobic surfaces (lotus leaf and cicada wing), an array microstructure was successfully constructed by high speed wire electrical discharge machining (HS-WEDM) on the surfaces of a 7075 aluminum alloy without any chemical treatment. The artificial surfaces had a high apparent contact angle of 153° ± 1° with a contact angle hysteresis less than 5° and showed a good superhydrophobic property. Wettability, contact time, and the corresponding superhydrophobic mechanism of artificial superhydrophobic surface were investigated. The results indicated that the micro-scale array microstructure was an important factor for the superhydrophobic surface, while different array microstructures exhibited different effects on the wettability and contact time of the artificial superhydrophobic surface. The length (L), interval (S), and height (H) of the array microstructure are the main influential factors on the wettability and contact time. The order of importance of these factors is H > S > L for increasing the apparent contact angle and reducing the contact time. The method, using HS-WEDM to fabricate superhydrophobic surface, is simple, low-cost, and environmentally friendly and can easily control the wettability and contact time on the artificial surfaces by changing the array microstructure.
Project description:In this research, the maximum retention and wetting behavior of surfactant solutions (N-200, N-300, Tween-80, Morwet EFW, DTAB, SDS) on the surfaces of tea leaves was investigated based on surface free energy, surface tension, the contact angle, adhesion work, and adhesion force. The results showed that the contact angles of all surfactant solutions were kept constant with low adsorption at the tea leaf-liquid interfaces below 0.005%. With an increase in concentration, the contact angle of Tween-80 decreased sharply because the adsorption of molecules at the solid-liquid interfaces (?<sub>SL'</sub>) was several times greater than that at the liquid-air interfaces (?<sub>LV</sub>). Adhesion work decreased sharply and then reached a minimum at the critical micelle concentration (CMC), but then increased until reaching a constant. Moreover, a high adhesion force did not indicate better wettability, as it does with rose petals and peanut leaves. For tea leaf surfaces, an increase in the contact angle brought about an increase in the adhesion force. In addition, the maximum retention for Morwet EFW is at different concentrations compared to N-200, N-300, Tween-80, DTAB, and SDS, where the maximum retention of Morwet EFW on tea leaves was 6.05 mg/cm<sup>2</sup> at 0.005%.According to the mechanisms of wetting behavior on plant surfaces, a recipe for pesticide formulation can be adjusted with better wettability to reduce loss, improve utilization efficiency, and alleviate adverse effects on the environment.
Project description:A biofilm has a unique structure composed of microorganisms, extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs), etc., and it is layered on a substrate in water. In material science, it is important to detect the biofilm formed on a surface to prevent biofouling. EPSs, the major component of the biofilm, mainly consist of polysaccharides, proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids. Because these biomolecules have a variety of hydrophilicities or hydrophobicities, the substrate covered with the biofilm shows different wettability from the initial state. To detect the biofilm formation, this study employed a liquid-squeezing-based wettability assessment method with a simple wettability index: the liquid-squeezed diameter of a smaller value indicates higher wettability. The method is based on the liquid-squeezing behaviour of a liquid that covers sample surfaces when an air-jet is applied. To form the biofilm, polystyrene surfaces were immersed and incubated in a water-circulated bioreactor that had collected microorganisms in ambient air. After the 14-d incubation, good formation of the biofilm on the surfaces was confirmed by staining with crystal violet. Although the contact angles of captive bubbles on the surfaces with the biofilm were unmeasurable, the liquid-squeezing method could distinguish between hydrophilic and hydrophobic initial surfaces with and without biofilm formation using the diameter of the liquid-squeezed area. The surface wettability is expected to be a promising property for in-situ detection of biofilm formation on a macroscopic scale.