Texture and wettability of metallic lotus leaves†
Superhydrophobic surfaces with the self-cleaning behavior of lotus leaves are sought for drag reduction and phase change heat transfer applications. These superrepellent surfaces have traditionally been fabricated by random or deterministic texturing of a hydrophobic material. Recently, superrepellent surfaces have also been made from hydrophilic materials, by deterministic texturing using photolithography, without low-surface energy coating. Here, we show that hydrophilic materials can also be made superrepellent to water by chemical texturing, a stochastic rather than deterministic process. These metallic surfaces are the first analog of lotus leaves, in terms of wettability, texture and repellency. A mechanistic model is also proposed to describe the influence of multiple tiers of roughness on wettability and repellency. This demonstrated ability to make hydrophilic materials superrepellent without deterministic structuring or additional coatings opens the way to large scale and robust manufacturing of superrepellent surfaces.