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Designing Superoleophobic Surfaces

Science  07 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5856, pp. 1618-1622
DOI: 10.1126/science.1148326

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Abstract

Understanding the complementary roles of surface energy and roughness on natural nonwetting surfaces has led to the development of a number of biomimetic superhydrophobic surfaces, which exhibit apparent contact angles with water greater than 150 degrees and low contact angle hysteresis. However, superoleophobic surfaces—those that display contact angles greater than 150 degrees with organic liquids having appreciably lower surface tensions than that of water—are extremely rare. Calculations suggest that creating such a surface would require a surface energy lower than that of any known material. We show how a third factor, re-entrant surface curvature, in conjunction with chemical composition and roughened texture, can be used to design surfaces that display extreme resistance to wetting from a number of liquids with low surface tension, including alkanes such as decane and octane.

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