Materials Science

Getting in shape to stay dry longer

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  27 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6191, pp. 1477
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6191.1477-a

A rose petal's textured surface effectively repels water.

PHOTO: SHANNON KRINGEN/FLICKR

Many textured surfaces commonly found in the natural world, such as a rose petal, repel liquids extremely well. Taking a clue from Mother Nature, designers have begun to routinely incorporate surface textures into products ranging from waterproof outdoor clothing to self-cleaning windows. However, under high humidity or pressure, liquid can infiltrate some textured surfaces and reduce their super-hydrophobic properties. Checco et al. used x-rays to probe the interface region between liquid and a variety of textured silicon surfaces to show that the specific structure of a textured coating affects how the coating fails. This strategy could facilitate the rational design of better water-repellent coatings.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 216101 (2014).

Navigate This Article