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We showed directional adhesion on the superhydrophobic wings of the butterfly Morpho aega. A droplet easily rolls off the surface of the wings along the radial outward (RO) direction of the central axis of the body, but is pinned tightly against the RO direction. Interestingly, these two distinct states can be tuned by controlling the posture of the wings (downward or upward) and the direction of airflow across the surface (along or against the RO direction), respectively. Research indicated that these special abilities resulted from the direction-dependent arrangement of flexible nano-tips on ridging nano-stripes and micro-scales overlapped on the wings at the one-dimensional level, where two distinct contact modes of a droplet with orientation-tuneable microstructures occur and thus produce different adhesive forces. We believe that this finding will help the design of smart, fluid-controllable interfaces that may be applied in novel microfluidic devices and directional, easy-cleaning coatings.
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