The dewetting properties of Lotus leaves

Jihua Zhang, Xianliang Sheng, Lei Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The high dewetting abilities of lotus leaves can be transited to a complete wetting state by soaking the leaves in water at a depth of 50 cm for 2 h. However, after being dried by N2 gas, the high dewetting behavior of lotus leaves may be mostly restored. This indicates that experimental procedure might considerably affect the dewetting abilities of lotus leaves. To discover the mechanism underlying this interesting dewetting phenomena, the dewetting force was used to characterize the dewetting abilities of surfaces, and model studies to mimic the papillae were done. Surface hydrophobicity, sizes, rise angles, and secondary structures of the models' sides affected their dewetting force with water. So we suggested that the dewetting states, Cassie or Wenzel's state, of lotus surfaces depend much on the depth of water, i.e., the hydraulic pressure. On the other hand, the primary structures of papillae in Cassie's state led to a high receding angle with respect to the plane of the leaf during the dewetting measurement. The secondary structures and micro/nano arrays of papillae increased the dewetting abilities of lotus leaves, since no water intruded between papillae. However, the structures of papillae in Wenzle's state significantly reduced the dewetting abilities of lotus leaves after being soaked at a depth of 50 cm for 2 h. Therefore, as for novel designs of microdevices floating on water, including the use of the high dewetting properties of suphydrophobic materials, surface (primary or secondary) microstructure and external pressure, such as static hydraulic pressure, must be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1376
Number of pages6
JournalLangmuir
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this