Why re-entrant surface topography is needed for robust oleophobicity.Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2016 Aug 06; 374(2073)PT
Surface patterns affect wetting properties of solid materials allowing manipulation of the phase state of an adjacent fluid. The best known example of this effect is the superhydrophobic composite (Cassie-Baxter) interface with vapour/air pockets between the solid and liquid. Mathematically, the effect of surface micropatterns can be studied by an averaging technique similarly to the method of separation of motions in dynamics. However, averaged parameters are insufficient for robust superhydrophobic and superoleophobic surfaces because additional topography features are important: hierarchical organization and re-entrant roughness. The latter is crucial for the oleophobicity because it enhances the stability of a composite interface. The re-entrant topography can be achieved by various methods. Understanding the role of re-entrant surface topography gives us new insights on the multitude of wetting scenarios beyond the standard Wenzel and Cassie-Baxter models.This article is part of the themed issue 'Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science'.