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Ratchetlike Slip Angle Anisotropy on Printed Superhydrophobic Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 16.08.2011, 00:00 by Mark Barahman, Alan M. Lyons
The fabrication and properties of superhydrophobic surfaces that exhibit ratchet-like anisotropic slip angle behavior is described. The surface is composed of arrays of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) posts fabricated by a type of 3D printing. By controlling the dispense parameters, regular arrays of asymmetric posts were deposited such that the slope of the posts was varied from 0 to 50 relative to the surface normal. Advancing and receding contact angles as well as slip angles were measured as a function of the post slope and droplet volume. Ratchetlike slip angle anisotropy was observed on surfaces composed of sloped features. The maximum slip angle difference (for a 180° tilt angle variation) was 32° for 20 μL droplets on surfaces with posts fabricated with a slope of 50°. This slip angle anisotropy is attributed to an increase in the triple contact line (TCL) length as the droplet is tilted in a direction against the post slope whereas the TCL decreases continuously when the drop travels in a direction parallel to the post slope. The increasing length of the TCL creates an increased energy barrier that accounts for the higher slip angles in this direction.