Cassie-Wenzel and Wenzel-Cassie transitions on immersed superhydrophobic surfaces under hydrostatic pressure

Pontus Forsberg*, Fredrik Nikolajeff, Mikael Karlsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

119 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For incorporating superhydrophobic surfaces in microfluidic systems, it is important to understand the ability of the superhydrophobic state to withstand hydraulic pressure. In this paper we describe experiments to probe the collapse transition on superhydrophobic surfaces completely covered by water, where the air film formed on the surface is closed. Polyethylene foils nanoimprinted with micrometre sized pillars in different geometries and densities are used as the model superhydrophobic surfaces. The pressure required for the transition from Cassie to Wenzel state is measured for all surfaces and also compared to analytical and numerical models. We find that the closed film of trapped air helps stabilise the Cassie state at low pillar densities and that the effect of a small change in pillar sidewall angle can drastically change the collapse behaviour. Finally, the reverse transition, from Wenzel to Cassie state, is observed on densely pillared surfaces at low water pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalSoft Matter
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

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