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Issue 1, 2011
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Cassie–Wenzel and Wenzel–Cassie transitions on immersed superhydrophobic surfaces under hydrostatic pressure

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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.

Graphical abstract: Cassie–Wenzel and Wenzel–Cassie transitions on immersed superhydrophobic surfaces under hydrostatic pressure

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Publication details

The article was received on 29 Jun 2010, accepted on 26 Aug 2010 and first published on 20 Sep 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00595A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 104-109
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    Cassie–Wenzel and Wenzel–Cassie transitions on immersed superhydrophobic surfaces under hydrostatic pressure

    P. Forsberg, F. Nikolajeff and M. Karlsson, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 104
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM00595A

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