Tunable superapolar Lotus-to-Rose hierarchical nanosurfaces via vertical carbon nanotubes driven electrohydrodynamic lithography†
The development of a robust, cost-effective, scalable and simple technique that enables the design and construction of well-controlled large area superhydrophobic surface structures which can be easily tuned from lotus-leaf to rose-petal state is essential to enable progress in realising the full applied potential of such surfaces. In this study, we introduce the tuneable carbon nanotubes-based electrohydrodynamic lithography (CNT-EHL) to fabricate unique multiscale structured cones and nanohair-like architectures with various periodicities and dimensions, successfully enabling surface energy minimization. The possibility of contact-less lithography via the CNT-EHL morphology replication combined with the electric field coupling to smaller self-assembled patterns within the film, provides a way for hierarchical structure control spanning many length scales along with tuneable wetting capabilities. By controlling the hierarchy of micro- to nano cones and spikes, these morphologies provide a range of architectures with sufficient roughness for very low wettability, with the highest contact angle achieved of 173° and their properties can be easily switched between lotus-leaf to rose-petal behaviour.