S. Arunachalam, Z. Ahmad, R. Das, H. Mishra
Advanced Materials Interfaces, (2020)
Breakthrough pressure, Capillary condensation, Diffusion, Doubly reentrant cavities, Hydrostatic pressure, Simple cavities, Underwater, Wetting transitions
Surfaces that entrap air underwater serve numerous practical applications, such as mitigating cavitation erosion and reducing frictional drag. These surfaces typically rely on perfluorinated coatings. However, the non‐biodegradability and fragility of the coatings limit practical applications. Thus, coating‐free, sustainable, and robust approaches are desirable. Recently, a microtexture comprising doubly reentrant cavities (DRCs) has been demonstrated to entrap air on immersion in wetting liquids. While this is a promising approach, insights into the effects of surface chemistry, hydrostatic pressure, and cavity dimensions on wetting transitions in DRCs remain unavailable. In response, Cassie‐to‐Wenzel transitions into circular DRCs submerged in water are investigated and compared with those in cylindrical “simple” cavities (SCs). It is found that at low hydrostatic pressures (≈50 Pa), DRCs with hydrophilic (θo ≈ 40°) and hydrophobic (θo ≈ 112°) make‐ups fill within 105 and 107 s, respectively, while SCs with hydrophilic make‐up fill within <10−2 s. Under elevated hydrostatic pressure (P ≤ 90 kPa), counterintuitively, DRCs with hydrophobic make‐up fill dramatically faster than the commensurate SCs. This comprehensive report should provide a rational framework for harnessing microtexturing and surface chemistry toward coating‐free liquid repellency.