Wetting behavior of water and oil droplets in three-phase interfaces for hydrophobicity/philicity and oleophobicity/philicity.Langmuir. 2009 Dec 15; 25(24):14165-73.L
Biomimetics, mimicking nature for engineering solutions, provides a model for the development of superhydrophobic/superoleophobic and self-cleaning surfaces. A number of biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces have been developed by using a hydrophobic coating, surface roughness, and the ability to form air pockets between solid and water. Oleophobic surfaces that have the potential for self-cleaning and antifouling from biological and organic contaminants in both air and water need to be studied. The surface tension of oil and organic liquids is lower than that of water, so to create a superoleophobic surface, the surface energy of the solid surface in air should be lower than that of oil. The wetting behavior of water and oil droplets for hydrophobic/philic and oleophobic/philic surfaces in three-phase interfaces was studied. In order to make the surface oleophobic at a solid-air-oil interface, a material with a surface energy lower than that of oil was used. In underwater applications, the oleophobicity/philicity of an oil droplet in water was studied on the surfaces with different surface energies of various interfaces and contact angles of water and oil droplets in air. A model for predicting the contact angles of water and oil droplets was proposed. To validate the model, the wetting behavior of flat and micropatterned surfaces with varying pitch values were studied. Furthermore, the wetting behavior of the nano- and hierarchical structures found in Lotus plant surfaces and the shark skin replica as an example of aquatic animal were also studied. On the basis of the experimental data and the model, the trends were explained.