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Wetting characteristics of Colocasia esculenta (Taro) leaf and a bioinspired surface thereof.


ABSTRACT: We investigate wetting and water repellency characteristics of Colocasia esculenta (taro) leaf and an engineered surface, bioinspired by the morphology of the surface of the leaf. Scanning electron microscopic images of the leaf surface reveal a two-tier honeycomb-like microstructures, as compared to previously-reported two-tier micropillars on a Nelumbo nucifera (lotus) leaf. We measured static, advancing, and receding angle on the taro leaf and these values are around 10% lesser than those for the lotus leaf. Using standard photolithography techniques, we manufactured bioinspired surfaces with hexagonal cavities of different sizes. The ratio of inner to the outer radius of the circumscribed circle to the hexagon (b/a) was varied. We found that the measured static contact angle on the bioinspired surface varies with b/a and this variation is consistent with a free-energy based model for a droplet in Cassie-Baxter state. The static contact angle on the bioinspired surface is closer to that for the leaf for b/a ? 1. However, the contact angle hysteresis is much larger on these surfaces as compared to that on the leaf and the droplet sticks to the surfaces. We explain this behavior using a first-order model based on force balance on the contact line. Finally, the droplet impact dynamics was recorded on the leaf and different bioinspired surfaces. The droplets bounce on the leaf beyond a critical Weber number (We?~  1.1), exhibiting remarkable water-repellency characteristics. However, the droplet sticks to the bioinspired surfaces in all cases of We. At larger We, we recorded droplet breakup on the surface with larger b/a and droplet assumes full or partial Wenzel state. The breakup is found to be a function of We and b/a and the measured angles in full Wenzel state are closer to the predictions of the free-energy based model. The sticky bioinspired surfaces are potentially useful in applications such as water-harvesting.

SUBMITTER: Kumar M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6976613 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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