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Lubricant-Mediated Strong Droplet Adhesion on Lubricant-Impregnated Surfaces

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posted on 02.07.2021, 14:34 by Jiaqian Li, Wei Li, Xin Tang, Xing Han, Liqiu Wang
Lubricant-impregnated surfaces have recently emerged as a new type of multifunctional coating with a promising capability in exhibiting low friction or contact angle hysteresis. However, lubricant-infused surfaces severely suffer from the tensile droplet–lubricant adhesion. In this study, we show that lubricant-infused surfaces allow for a strong tensile droplet adhesion, which results in the generation of an offspring residual droplet when a droplet detaches from the surface. Such tensile liquid–liquid adhesion and the corresponding liquid residue are solely mediated by the lubricant, independent of the underlying surface topography. We reveal how the lubricant film mediates droplet adhesion by measuring the maximum adhesion force and liquid residue and theoretically analyzing Laplace pressure force from the droplet shape and surface tension force depending on the contact line. Further, the presence of lubricant-induced adhesion considerably compromises the advantages of lubricant-infused surfaces in some applications. The lubricant-triggered tensile adhesion hampers the loss-free droplet transfer away from the surfaces in the photoelectrically and magnetically driven droplet manipulation. In addition, we demonstrate that the lubricant-triggered adhesion plays a dominant role in attenuating the efficiency of fog harvesting by impeding the shedding of the intercepted droplets by comparing the onset time, droplet radius, and collection efficiency. These findings advance our fundamental understanding of droplet adhesion on lubricant-infused surfaces and significantly benefit the design of lubricant-infused surfaces for various applications.

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