E.M. Domingues, S. Arunachalam, J. Nauruzbayeva, H. Mishra
Nature Communications, volume 9, Article number: 3606 , (2018)
Bio-inspiration, Doubly reentrant cavities, Circular and non-circular cavities, Capillary condensation, Diffusion of gases in liquids, Omniphobic surfaces
Trapping air at the solid–liquid interface is a promising strategy for reducing frictional drag and desalting water, although it has thus far remained unachievable without perfluorinated coatings. Here, we report on biomimetic microtextures composed of doubly reentrant cavities (DRCs) and reentrant cavities (RCs) that can enable even intrinsically wetting materials to entrap air for long periods upon immersion in liquids. Using SiO2/Si wafers as the model system, we demonstrate that while the air entrapped in simple cylindrical cavities immersed in hexadecane is lost after 0.2 s, the air entrapped in the DRCs remained intact even after 27 days (~106 s). To understand the factors and mechanisms underlying this ten-million-fold enhancement, we compared the behaviors of DRCs, RCs and simple cavities of circular and non-circular shapes on immersion in liquids of low and high vapor pressures through high-speed imaging, confocal microscopy, and pressure cells. Those results might advance the development of coating-free liquid repellent surfaces.